Delhi Public School, RK Puram had the privilege of hosting the Trinidad and Tobago Reciprocal Exchange Programme 2010-2011. A fifteen member team of students and teachers under the leadership of Dr. Asha Lata Pandey, Head of the Sanskrit Department, had earlier visited Swaha Hindu College, Trinidad in July 2010. In the reciprocal visit, a delegation comprising fourteen members led by the Principal of Swaha Hindu College, Pundit Balram Presad, arrived in the school on 14 December 2011.
The Principal, Dr. D.R Saini warmly welcomed them. The delegates stayed with their host families, which helped them bond even better. They visited the historical cities of Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, Haridwar and Rishikesh. The students explored the school campus – classrooms, laboratories, libraries, music room etc and interacted with the Indian students and teachers, which provided them with a better understanding of the Indian education system.
A cultural programme was organized in their honour on 21st December presenting an insight into Indian culture. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Ms.Kiva Clarke, Deputy High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago. The guest of honour was Lady Shruti Rana from U.K. an acclaimed educationist who is well versed in Sanskrit, music and English. She is doing a commendable work in bringing the traditional knowledge systems in the main stream of education culture. Other guests included Mr. Habees Mohammed, Second Secretary along with the Principal Pundit Balram Presad, his wife Mrs Nalini Presad and Mr. and Mrs. Juteram. The programme commenced with a mesmerizing Indian classical instrumental item by the students, followed by Bharatnatyam-“a Pushpanjali” dance, a classical Russian Ballet performance, a fusion on ‘Satyameva Jayate’ combining traditional and modern dance and a contemporary duet which left everyone enraptured. The delegation was enchanted seeing the vibrant colours and the energy of the Indian dance forms. Students of DPS Shiksha Kendra, a school for the underprivileged run on the premises of the school, presented an exposition on the life of Krishna in the form of a dance drama. Diwakar, a student of class 11 mellifluously sang “chaupais” from “Ramayana”. It was followed by releasing of the first magazine of the Trinidad-India students exchange programme.
The delegation was presented a trophy as a token of appreciation by the host school. The Chief Guest, Ms. Kiva Clarke expressed her delight at visiting India and said that the hospitality of Indians left her awestruck. She was amazed at the immense talent that the Indian students displayed. She expressed her wish that the bonds created by this exchange programme would extend to the future and broaden their perspectives. Lady Shruti Rana sang a few Sanskrit shlokas and explained their relevance to the students.
The delegation concluded the programme with a quintessential performance showcasing some aspects of the culture of Trinidad and Tobago through the medium of group songs, dance and PowerPoint presentations. The presentation also showcased how Indian festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are celebrated all over Trinidad which left the audience enthralled.
Dr. Asha Lata Pandey, the coordinator of the programme delivered the vote of thanks.
The delegation will be taking a tour of the capital city to see its marvellous treasure trove of monuments like India Gate and Akshardham Temple. They will also have an interactive session and lunch with students of Shree Ram Institute and will have the privilege of meeting the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Sheila
Dixit at her residence during their stay. After a grand farewell the delegation will be leaving for Trinidad on 25th December.
Such cultural exchanges are memorable and provide unique opportunities for building bridges by sharing practices and learning about other cultures. It was not just the exchange between the schools but between the two cultures. The Trinidad-India students Exchange will leave behind golden memories to be cherished for years to come.