During 2006 the DHRS sponsored an art competition, held in 30 different schools in the Darjeeling area. The competition itself took place in mid-2006, with over 300 school students taking part. The prizegiving was held on November 3rd 2006. The Inner Wheel Club of Darjeeling were the society's partners in this project. The capable ladies of Inner Wheel organised the event itself and made all the preliminary arrangements for the prizegiving, and we thank them very much indeed for all of their hard work. We were most fortunate to be able to hold the prizegiving in the grounds of Raj Bhavan, the official Darjeeling residence of the Governor of West Bengal. In addition, the Governor himself, Sri Gopalkrishna Gandhi, kindly agreed to give out the prizes.
The event was attended by many school students, the staff of their schools and a large number of residents of Darjeeling and its area. Prizes were awarded in age categories, and there was also a prize for the best poster design, won by 14-year-old Isha Baraily from Gaynoday Niketan School. The occasion was a great success. All who attended enjoyed the morning, especially the children.
The event provided an excellent opportunity for representatives of the DHRS to make new contacts in the area, and to develop existing contacts. Darjeeling Carnival was held shortly after the prizegiving. Carnival is an annual event attended by thousands of people. The carnival organisers were able to exhibit some of the entries and to mount a display about the history of the DHR, so the railway remained high profile for some time. Inner Wheel have arranged for some of the art entries to be printed as greetings cards, and reports tell us that they are selling well. Copies of the winning poster are also on sale in the Darjeeling area.
The art competition has been one aspect of the work of the DHRS Education Group. Over the last two years this group has been making contact with schools along the DHR, and has developed education materials about the railway which are being used with pupils from kindergarten age to 14 years. Following the success of the art competition and prizegiving, the Education Group is expanding their work to reach more schools along the line and plans to hold other events in the Darjeeling area in the future.
The top poster is the winner.
Full report in the issue 37, February 2007, of the "DHRS - The Darjeeling Mail"
Report by Marilyn Metz & Peter Tiller March 5th, 2007
Isha Baraily from Gaynoday Niketan School presents the Governor with a copy of her winning poster entry.
The event was held on the lawn at Raj Bhavan (the Governor of West Bengal's official residence in Darjeeling)
The Governor took a keen interest in all of the artwork displayed. He even chose two for his own collection.