DAV Sanskriti School
Essay and Shloka Competition
Proud Participants of Arya Samaj Greater Houston Essay and Shloka Competition
DAV Sanskriti School (DAVSS) of Arya Samaj Greater Houston organized an Essay and Shloka (verses) recitation contest. The event was conducted to emphasize the moral duty (‘dharma’) and spiritual discipline that all students are expected to learn, adopt and follow during their ‘Brahmacharya’ phase. Literally speaking, Brahmacharya (meaning ‘under the tutelage of Brahma’) has evolved from ‘Brahma’ (the creator or knowledge) and ‘charya’ (a virtuous way of life or to act/live in). It represents the phase of austerity or spiritual education in one’s life.
The contest is an annual event at DAVSS and is part of the Naitik Shiksha (moral education) curriculum of the school. The topic for the essay competition this year was ‘The Dharma (duties) of a student’. The students were requested to prepare the topic in advance and write the essay during the school hours from their memory. For the Shloka recitation contest, a set of 8 Shlokas were selected from Bhagavad Geeta (sacred Hindu scripture) focusing on learnings most relevant for our young children. These Shlokas along with their meanings were distributed to the students who had to come prepared for reciting 2 Shlokas on the day of the competition. A heartening number of 61 students participated in the contest held on March 7, 2010.
For judging the competition, the students were distributed into different age groups - 3 for the essay and 5 for shloka recitation. A ceremony held on March 28th, 2010 recognized all the participants and also awarded trophies to the top performers. The ceremony was conducted by Sanjay Jain ji, Coordinator of DAVSS, amidst an audience comprising the larger Arya Samaj community including the parents of all participants. A total of 25 trophies were awarded to top performers in each of the age groups. The number one performer in each group was also awarded a gift card from Best Buy. The trophies were handed over to the children by respected Acharya Praveen ji – the soul behind the event and also the person leading the DAV Sanskriti School. The top winners recited their Shlokas and read their essays which impressed everyone present in the audience.
Congratulations to all award winners! List of the winners are as follows:
Elementary Students - Amol Patil (1st), Anshuman Patil (2nd), Roma Nayyar (3rd);
Junior High Students - Kavya Gupta (1st), Trisha Gupta (2nd), Uma Zingde (3rd); and
High School Students - Atul Gupta (1st); Neil Patel (2nd), Akash Gupta (3rd).
Shloka Recitation Competition (by Age Group):
5-6 years: Mahi Tomar (1st);
7-8 years: Pranav Thatte (1st), Anusha Sathya (2nd), Kanika Talwar (3rd);
9-10 years: Sanjana Kapoor (1st), Anuya Kawathekar (2nd), Gaurav Gomber (3rd);
11-12 years: Smriti Ahuja (1st), Roma Nayyar (2nd), Siddhant Ahuja (3rd); and
13 & above: Neha Srivastava (1st), Soham Chanchalani (2nd), Sonya Chanchalani (3rd).
Special recognition awards were given for 2 very young participants for their essays - Ananya Luthria and Ishaan Kapoor. A special award was also given to Krishna Chamlagai for shloka recitation. Krishna is a member of one of the families from Bhutan who have recently migrated to the US and have been adopted by Arya Samaj.
This event is amongst the various activities that DAVSS and Arya Samaj of Greater Houston organize through the year to inculcate the right values and morals amongst the ‘future leaders of tomorrow’ and is a demonstration of the social leadership that Arya Samaj institutions provide in the communities they operate in.