1. Description of Our Team
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” When we looked at the stars, we dreamt of being like them. And we thought that even if all can’t be stars, we could at least twinkle. Thus, we commenced our projects with our hearts full of dreams.
Mrs. N. M. Parti, our coach, motivated us constantly and her never say die attitude inspired us to strive for the best. Lvanika Parti, our assistant coach and vivacious mentor, was always full of exuberant ideas and her presence motivated us scale new heights. Shivangi, 15, a diligent girl, believes that “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal”. Ankita, 14, the visionary, is never scared to take an initiative, for she believes that one can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. With starry eyes and hope in the living heart, Heena, 14, strives to take the future ahead with all her strength and ability. Her optimistic personality and her interest in mass media allows her to be creative, interactive and ever ready for challenges that come her way. Shruti, 15, a daring person, says, “its kind of fun to do the impossible”. She always strives to accomplish the impossible, to touch the intangible and achieve the distant dreams.
We shared responsibilities of conducting research, finalizing interviews, deciding the site layout and developing perceptions of various issues and finding their realities, in such a manner that it would promote paramount learning. Shivangi and Heena were always geared up to go about with interviews and other projects and would take over when others would become nervous. Shruti, an immensely hardworking girl with oodles of willpower was always ready to set herself new goals. Ankita edited and re- edited all the text and ensured that there were no weak links.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” And so, we joined hands, diverse in our attitudes yet united in our dreams.
2. Summary of Our Project
“Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani”
Do your deeds and be detached from its outcome. We must not rely on destiny to create us; we should ourselves shape our destiny. And as responsible inhabitants of Mother Earth, we resolved to make it a better place to live. By the medium of this project, we try to promote the ideology of doing our deeds the way we want the consequence to be.
As we look at the widespread poverty, misery and oppression in large parts of the world, the starving millions on the streets, the squalid slums which litter large parts of the world, the massacre of people who yearn for political freedom and race equality; we see how God is abandoned, religion sneered at, love despised and goodness defeated.
Our religion is only a mask, pretence, make- belief. While we preach love and service, often we deny it. Twenty- five million human- beings died to bring Hitler down but Hitlerism is not dead. Mass thinking, race bigotry, lust for power and faith in violence as supreme arbiter in human affairs- these are not dead. Religious persecutions, inquisitions, tortures have darkened many pages of the history of religions. The human race has bled a lot due to fundamentalism and communalism. In these days of deepening cleavages between different ways of life and growing anxiety for the future, we seek a faith, which demands loyalty to the whole of mankind, and not to this or that fraction of it. We call for the change of heart that religion can affect, a religion, which knows no geographical limits, a faith which transcends our love for ourselves. Religion should be the wisdom of love, which redeems the suffering man. It must become a burning conviction, a consuming fire…
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The topic of our choice was an unusual yet a contradictory one. We had to be cautious not to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments. It was a tricky task to choose our links appropriately. The topic was wide ranging and had many possible facets left unexplored, thus we had to confine ourselves so as not to deviate from the original idea. As we researched relentlessly on various religious philosophies, we came across conflicting views and contradictory statements. Often, we came across different facts from different search engines, thus we had to organize numerous visits to government run libraries so as to obtain precise information. All our team members had varied opinions on the relevance on certain beliefs in the present world scenario. We also had conflicting opinions on what the site should look like. We thought of various color schemes for the website, red to signify violence, blue to signify peace, but could never agree on any. In the end we decided upon orange and black to signify the journey of mankind from dusk to dawn and then again to dusk. For the name of the website, many words were considered, and we came upon the Sanskrit words, Karmanye Vadhikaraste, meaning, to us…our deeds, our deeds determine us and our destiny. Difference in opinions often resulted in unproductive days and waste of precious time. Conducting interviews, fixing appointments left us exhausted at the end of the day, unable to cope with academic pressure and co- curricular activities. As all the members were in high school, with the exam dates clashing with the project submission deadline, it became a complicated task juggling between studies and the project. Yet, we strived to use our weaknesses to our advantage, because 'Tests and trials do look cumbersome, Great things they bring when they come.'
5. Our Project Sound Bite
“Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” -George Bernard Shaw
Mankind is on trial… Today, at the height of its technological power and might, mankind is facing its deepest moments of insecurity. We can dredge the seas, make deserts blossom and produce abundance for all. Yet, the threat of the meaningless, the absurd, is being felt as never before. But, will we, the supreme creation of God, let ourselves pass away to this debacle, let the human race face extermination from this planet? Won’t we try to transform this end into a new beginning, a new dawn for mankind?
In this era of insecurity, when man is searching for his identity, for the meaning of life, for the significance of the defeat he suffers by clinging to a reality that crumbles in his hands, we learnt to write our own destiny with our hands, for…
Karmanya Vadhikareste… To us…our deeds shape our destiny…
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our topic being non- conventional and out of the circuit, made it very difficult for us to find accurate information and precise facts. Thus, we referred to NCERT textbooks of grade 8, 9, 10 and 11, which provided us with specific details on various religious philosophies and various human rights issues. The purpose of education itself is to teach tolerance and understanding of the world. Our project also aimed at this goal, though in a much more specific direction. We endeavored to promote tolerance and appreciation of all religions amongst our schoolmates and in our vicinity by the medium of plays and group discussions. Co- curricular activities are an integral part of education and are vital for the development of a child’s mind. In order to instill qualities of understanding and love amongst all students we organized a host of events and activities, which included poster making, poetry and essay writing competitions. We also conducted a fancy dress competition wherein the tiny tots of our school dressed in the attires of various religions and spoke about what their religions preach. As we interviewed educationists, we realized the role played by education in developing the minds of children to become more tolerant towards various faiths.