“To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim” Martin Luther King had attributed such an Identity to India as a pilgrimage – a pious land of rich culture and incredible human race. This year the flame of patriotism has been reignited and rekindled through a nation-wide consciousness that our great nation is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence (Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav). At Atmiya Vidya Mandir, the students have equally been infused with a sense of love and pride towards their mother land India. The Social Studies Department of Atmiya Vidya Mandir had organized a rally and awareness program to commemorate this monumental occasion and spread awareness among students.

The preparation of the rally started by dividing the students of grade one to grade six into various groups. They were assigned their roles to participate in different performances of the program. Selected students from grade fourth to grade six represented the prominent leaders of the freedom struggle, they were wearing an appearance of Gandhiji, Shivaji, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sardar Patel, Lokmanya Tilak, Madan Mohan Malviya, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. On the other side, the students of grade one to grade three marched in the school wide rally. They were holding tricolour flags in their hands and raising and waving them while speaking slogans of Vande Mataram. These young participants of the rally dressed up in tricolour dresses as if immersing completely to sing the glory of Indian freedom fighters and leaders.

As spectators, the teachers and senior students and all members of AVM family lined up to witness this march past and rally.  Everyone appreciated these little patriots and at the amazing display of their spectacular performance and participation. As this rally moved from the Junior hostel building to admin building premises, the performers slowed down at teacher’s instructions. At the flag-hoisting point in front of the admin building the rally stopped and the students in the role of esteemed leaders of the Independence movement took their position to speak their slogan and message. For instance, the student in appearance of Bhagat Singh spoke his slogan “Tum mujhe khoon do, mein tumhe azadi dunga” and the other as Lal Bahadur Shastri spoke “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” thus each one of them were loud and clear in conveying their message for their commitment towards their mother land.

The rally moved further after this program, students danced on the patriotic songs and expressed their gratitude and commitment towards the nation by speaking out loud the slogans of patriotism. The rally ended near the main gate of Junior hostel, where a senior teacher of social studies, Samidh Madam addressed the students and narrated them the stories of unsung heroes whose sacrifices have made freedom a reality for India. She also explained to the students that there is much more we need to do participate in the nation building apart from celebrating Independence and Republic Day.

Thus, the students realized the essence of true patriotism wherein the sacrifices and contribution by exemplary leaders from glorious past and present of India have brought our country this far in its evolutionary journey. Atmiya Vidya Mandir’s founder HDH PP Hariprasad Swamiji always wished that students of AVM should be cultivated and prepared to make the nation of tomorrow – which will merge the best of tradition, culture and heritage with the most modern, global outlook of developed India. From this perspective, the program was also a step towards realizing His Holiness’ vision. Hence, on the advent of this nationwide celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the students left for Raksha Bandhan – break with a feeling of belongingness, love and pride towards their nation wishing for its well-being and prosperity. To make the event memorable, students were asked to bring rose saplings which will be planted in the school campus.

Seema Ma’am