Sunday 30 April 2023

Sharpening The Saw - Tenzin Jambey

"Sharpening The Saw" can be beautifully defined as preparing a person or trying to bring a change in one's mind and attitude. Some so many people have contributed a lot to get a change, a development in me. 

Now when I think about my past and try to remember the people who have contributed their efforts to develop me, then the picture of my family and the faces of all the teachers come into my mind whose efforts were brilliant but, at the same time, my hearts says that there is a significant effort made by the family of Pestalozzi and My Good School which is also helping me to bring a change, a development within me. 

Here in Pestalozzi, we are provided with all kinds of niceties, and a high level of education is offered to us. This place where I live is known as a hostel by almost everyone, even at my best friend's home or my father and mother's. Still, they are unaware that this place feels more like a home than a hostel, and sometimes I feel like I don't want to leave this place, but as we know, everything has an end. 

Living with people from different regions of India and some from other places of Nepal with their own language, customs, and beliefs helps me understand their traditions and beautiful culture. Our friendship bond is powerful, and we are always there to help and assist each other regarding work or studies. Friends teach each other many things, including sound and bad habits, and it's a sour truth of friendship, but it is in our hands, and it's our choice whether we take bad morals or suitable lessons. 

In the case of our friendship bond, we teach each other only those acceptable to the person; our bond is so strong that we come to know about the other person's thoughts. My roommates are very good at creating motivational quotes, and their words and views help me to keep moving when I am broken. Some of their quotes are:

" The business graph never goes in a straight line at some point. It has to divert ".

"Rome was not built in a day, but it can be destroyed in a second". 

"The bad thing is time flies, but the good thing is I am the pilot". 

"Failing is a good sign to make a difference in you".

Sometimes I feel lucky to be with such good friends, namely Nawang, Norsang, Aati, Passang, Sandip and Nishan, who try to develop me and always help me.

The office staff put a lot of effort and hard work into developing every child of Pestalozzi. Cheme la Ma'am, the Director of Pestalozzi, always try harder and harder to keep us on track, and she becomes strict with us just for our own benefit; she always uses the most suitable examples to make us understand things in the best way. Upasna Ma'am is found wandering around the campus to meet every child and communicate with them to discover the troubles children face. I remember she once came to me also when I having issues.

The eyes of Shelja Ma'am would pop out one day as she spends a lot of time near the screen. The reason behind this is she is concerned about every child's future. By looking at the students' names and their obtained subjects, she is busy seeking colleges and universities for children's further studies. Anudev sir, Rakesh Sir and Rahul Sir, the three handsome men, also contribute a lot to assisting every child with any queries, and they'll be found busy the whole day as their business calls on.

My charming and lovely House Mother, Minaxi Ma'am, is often misunderstood by many people as a student. When I saw her for the first time, I thought she might be our age, and I was surprised to know that she was serving us as a house mother. I thought, " Yeh madam kya house mother karegi ". Her outlook is like a student, but she is a wonderful multi-talented woman. Even after pursuing a master's in Micro Biology, she considered joining an NGO. She helped us out with almost everything thing and especially with our studies. I was shocked when I learned she knew everything about us, including our naughty and decent actions. Every day has been a learning day since she joined Pestalozzi and served as a House Mother. I never knew that "pakorde" is called fritters in English. She is always there to help us with everything, and I see a significant improvement in my studies and other activities, which is 60% because of her motivation. When I came  3rd in class, she was happier than anyone else, even more optimistic than me. I know our bond is strong, but sometimes we really eat each other's mind, and mostly I am one to irritate her, because of which she gets angry.

There is a saying, "Where two utensils are kept together, then ultimately would become one". I don't feel she is my Ma'am, but I think of her as more like my older sister. My mind prevents me from touching her as my mother because she is young to be a mother, and people might get a heart attack when I start calling her mummy because she looks like a student.

Nowadays, I can focus on my studies and other activities too, but once, I was also a very distracted child and never got full marks in any subjects; many thoughts came into my mind. When I was in class 6th, it was a nightmare going to school as I had no friends nor was I doing good in my studies. While returning from school, I would sit at the window seat and look at the environment, and strange thoughts filled my mind. I used to think I was useless. I was wasting Pestalozzi's resources, I am wasting the food, the books in my bag, the uniform that I wore and the fuel of the bus, and at last, a lot of money and reason behind doing not well in academics, and because of my rude behaviour and attitude that I had, at that time I hardly had a smile on my face but, from now onwards I would never get to see these days as the family of Pestalozzi and My Good School are sharpening me. They have become the tool of sharpening when I am a saw. 

My Good School, or The Sunday Good School, is a good learning platform that helps me think beyond my limitations of thinking abilities. It's not only the school's name which is good but also the morals and lessons taught here are excellent and fun. By being regular in classes and because of writing my reflection continuously, I can understand things in a better way. I also thought how Good School would change me and develop my writing, reading and speaking skills, but now I know. I can now reflect on my actions and think deeply about them because I have no limitations on writing, like in school, we write an essay of 350 words, and I am allowed to put my thoughts on a piece of paper as many words as I wish too. 

When I sit to write a reflection, I automatically forget all other work, and my hands continue until I finish writing. My Good School is really 'Sharpening the Saw' for me and bringing a vast development in me, it would be great if more students joined My Good School, but I feel like the current strength we have is better than better as we are starting with a small step by taking that small step ideally.

Here are the pictures of the people who are my sharpeners! 

Upasna Ma'am, Chemela Ma'am and Shelja Ma'am

Rakesh Sir

Rahul Sir

Anudev Sir 

Minaxi Ma'am

The Elephants’ Hope! - Rishona Chopra

Comic strip by Rishona

We have made the animals' life so tough. They should feel safe and happy in this world too! Hope is perhaps the only thing that helps them get by. 

Rishona Chopra
Grade VII
Gyanshree School

Saturday 29 April 2023

No One Hits Harder Than LIfe - Tenzin Norsang.

It was during the monsoon season when heaven was raging with thunder and lightning and blessing the crops of Kharif. The children of Dehradun went to school like always, cursing the DM for not granting them a holiday despite the bad weather. Everyone in the city was having a hard time due to the weather, but the ones suffering the most were our School Football team.

Everyone in the school, including the teachers, got excited and exhilarated when they heard the announcement. The tournament was, after all, being organised after a break of two long years. The SJA family put a lot of faith in us and wished us every luck whenever they passed by us during training. All this attention really has a positive impact on us. Our minds were being pressurised and narrowed. It was as if the responsibility of keeping up the name of the high school had fallen upon our shoulders. It was as if a heavy load had been thrust on our chest and would only disappear if we won the competition.

The final day was arriving nearer and faster than we all had anticipated. For the first time, I realised and noticed that time really flies. We were putting our hearts and souls into practice. We were training so vigorously that we would usually become exhausted and worn out. I was finding no time for studies at all. It was like I only went to school for practices and football matches. Studies had become our second priority then. Many of the players wished just to pass the upcoming examination. Each of us had one ambition, motive and dream: to win the tournament, become champions and bring the trophy home ( our school stood runners-up the last time the tournament was organised). Practice matches were scheduled exclusively to gain confidence and improve our coordination. We won most of the games and felt confident whenever we thought about the tournament. Everyone was determined to lift the trophy.

Finally, the day arrived. I hardly woke up from sleep that morning when I wore my jersey and started packing my kit. It was sunny, and I thanked God for the excellent weather. That morning, I first checked how I looked in my new jersey. The colour of the jersey was bright red this year, which clearly matched our team's spirit and mindset (burning with the fire of desire to win and only win). The school's logo was printed in colour, and one could clearly read the words written over it, "LABORARE EST ORARE", meaning Work is Worship. My name and jersey number were printed in big, bold letters, but unfortunately, the printer got my name wrong. Instead of 'Tenzin', my name was published as 'Tenzen'. Well, it didn't matter much to me. At least I am in the school team, I thought.

It was my first time going to school in an informal dress, so I set out to school a bit early that day. I felt a mixed burst of emotions as I stepped inside the school. I gathered every ounce of courage, hid my anxiousness under the layers of excitement and exhilaration, and continued walking towards the sports room. Tents were pitched on the school ground for the visitors to rest and change. Everyone from the team had already arrived and was so engrossed in their phones that they did not notice me coming. I went inside the sports room and took blessings from my coach. He patted my shoulder and told me that we would surely win. With this saying reeling in my head, I went to change and got ready in no time.

The school slowly filled itself with students giving sideways glances at the field. The other schools, including Wynberg Allen and St. George's College, had started popping up on our premises. The tournament was about to begin. We were having a tough time practising in the rain. The ground would sometimes become so muddy and wet because of the rain that many of us would slip or stagger whenever we tried to chase or pass the ball.

On top of that, we would always end up soaked and wet and caught a cold. We tried to persuade our coach, Mr Thapa, to not have practice during such weather and would try to find every possible excuse to give, but our coach was never ready to agree to our terms. And I would have done the same thing too if I was in his place because in about a week or two, our school, St. Joseph's Academy (SJA), was going to organise the Inter-School Keogh Memorial Football Tournament, a tournament which is hosted by our school every year, a tournament which is very prestigious, dear and special to us Josephites and a tournament which is named after the first Principal of our school. 

Our coach instructed us to circle up before the tournament officially began. It was noticeable that Mr Thapa was very electrified and elevated by how he spoke to us. We were told about our team's strategy and formation for about ten minutes. In the starting eleven, we had Spandan as the goalkeeper, Param( Captain), Shivansh, Bhandari and Bhasin in defence and Gogoi, Mehta and myself in the midfield. In the attack, we had Shashwat, Krishna and Devansh. The desire to win was coursing through every inch of our bodies since this was the moment we had all been training and waiting for.

The fixture for the day had been updated by the school. We were allotted group D, including Shri Ram School and St. Thomas College. With tough competition, we managed to qualify for the semifinals, which was to take place the next day. Everyone was happy and appreciated our team's success, and the day ended with jubilant shouts. The four teams that qualified for the semis included Wyn Berg Allen, Missouri, Indian Public School (IPS), Doon Presidency School (DPS), and SJA. 

The sky was apparent as crystals, and the blazing sun showered its rays over the valley of Dehradun, a perfect day to play the tournament's final matches. We were up against Wynberg Allen School. With a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, we got through the finals by defeating them 3-2. Although the match was very intense, we appreciated our opponent and thanked them for giving us such a wonderful experience. On the other hand, IPS demolished DPS completely as they won 5-0 and qualified. The final match was scheduled at 12:00, and we had a whole hour in hand. We roamed around the school and found our friends bunking classes just to talk to us about the matches. We enjoyed our time until our coach summoned us to the sports room. The final game of the tournament and the day were about to be kicked off.

The team gathered around for one last group discussion. Our captain, Param, was filled with cheer, enthusiasm and energy. It was my first final match with the school team, and my coach was expecting high from me. I was very nervous and afraid of the outcome, but I did not want to let my coach down at the time. He had been my pillar of support and friend during the training.
The team's spirit was so high that the blue sky seemed very low. We lined up outside the sports room and started marching towards the field. The seats were filled with students from our school, and the playground was packed. Just by looking at the crowd, Nervousness crept through my body, making it numb and involuntary. It was as if my soul had left my body for a moment. The last time the tournament was organised, primary school students were privileged to watch the final match, not the whole Senior and Middle school. Even the teachers had seated themselves among the students in the audience. I expected this to be different. The Sports Prefects of respective Houses were on the stage along with the chief guest and our vice principal. Away from the crowd, the IPS team was having a last-minute discussion with their coach.

The Referee called both the teams up front, after which followed the tradition of shaking hands with the rivals and the referees. I had hardly stepped a foot on the ground when my coach pulled me out of the group. 

He said, " Do not take the pressure and Do not feel nervous." 

I nodded silently and walked on to take my position. The whistle blew, and the match kicked off. There were shouts of SJA from every corner of the crowd, but they failed to positively impact me. My mind was totally pressurised, consumed and instantly went blank. I was physically present but mentally absent.

The fever of the final match was on but not for me. I ran around the ground like a mad horse let loose from the stable. Whenever I got the ball, I would either lose or miss passing it. I could feel my heartbeat in my throat and hear my coach screaming at me because of my minor mistakes, costing me a lot for the team. It was ten against eleven, for I was totally out of the game, but the team was still holding on well without my involvement until the opposing team got a free kick near the box. The taller players made a wall between the goalposts and the ball. The whistle blew, and the ball came so fast that we hardly had a second to react. It went over the wall. Param jumped and tried to save the ball from the goal. Instead, it got deflected and found the back of the net. We were 1 nil down.

The crowd was silenced by the celebration of the IPS team. The dreams of winning slowly faded from our minds like the morning mist that disappeared before the sun. The game resumed, and the cheers of SJA filled the stadium again. I was useless for the rest of the first half, and angry shouts and screams kept coming from the bench. Mr Thapa was too stressed out, thanks to my poor performance. The first half was almost going to end, and we already felt defeated, but luck was on our side as we won a penalty. Param came forward to take the penalty and scored. Our team was back in the game. He equalised the score and ignited the fire of hope in everyone's heart. We still had time to take over the competition.

The whistle blew, and it was half-time. We went off the pitch and seated ourselves on the benches. Volunteers for the tournament showed up with water and glucose in their hands. Mr Thapa again pulled me out and said in a calm voice:

"Why are you getting so tense and nervous? Is it because of the spectators?"

I did not answer the question.

"Listen, beta, the opponent players will not slaughter you. They are humans like us. Are they carrying weapons in their arms, because of which you are getting scared? Chill out, you have the quality, boy, and I want you to show it to them." He said.

I simply nodded and sat between my teammates. The second half was the same as the first half. Actually, it was much worse. For the whole time after the second half, I thought of when I would be substituted, but the call never came. Our team conceded two more goals and lost the final match with the scoreline 3-1. I was pissed off, depressed, sad, weakened and mentally destabilised. Not only had I let my teammates and coach down but also the entire school due to my lack of involvement in the game. The IPS lifted the winner's trophy and celebrated like the prisoners released. When the award ceremony ended, I ran off to hide from the others since I was ashamed of my performance. I was emotionally low and felt like crying, but as a boy, I had to control the tears. It was the worst day of my life. The day ended with sadness and dejection on my face. 

I didn't want to go to the school for the next few weeks because I did not want students backbiting and talking about my gameplay in the final match whenever I passed through the corridors. I tried my best to avoid my coach and my teammates. I began isolating myself away from them. The feelings were too heavy for me to handle. One day, my coach asked if I wanted to play in an upcoming tournament. I rejected the offer and told him I still had not gotten over my poor performance in the final match. He understood me and consoled me.

"Winning and losing is part of a game. Winners are the ones who do not win immediately but definitely. Life is a roller coaster ride; you will take time to understand it. Learn from your past mistakes, and I hope you will start coming for practice."

He went off and disappeared in the mass of students. I didn't understand much of what he said, but I gradually understood what he meant. 

Sylvester Stallone, an American actor, once said,
 " No one will hit you harder than life itself. It doesn't matter how hard you hit back. It's about how much you can take, keep fighting, how much you can suffer and keep moving forward. That's how you win."

Every winner was once a loser. With this thought in mind, one will thrive and strive in life. Your mindset and mentality should be strong to deal with life. Overcoming your weaknesses and learning from your mistakes will determine your success in life. 

When I understood what my coach meant, I started attending practices and participating in other tournaments and stood as runners-up again in one of them, but I didn't lose hope. I am still on the school's team, and everyone is trying their best to achieve their highest potential. I have shared my failure with you, readers, hoping that you will be ready the next time you fail and know how to deal with it. 

There is only one difference between losers and winners: their mentality. The next time life hits you, welcome it with open arms because it will show you where you stand and where you must improve yourself.

Tenzin Norsang
Pestalozzi Children's Village India

My Good School Retreat 2023 - Shristi Khulal

On the first day, when I entered the gate of The Doon Girls School. I was excited and nervous and was experiencing a mixture of feelings inside my head. I thought about what it would be like to meet new people from different parts of the country, for which I was a little nervous, but now I have known them for a long time. I couldn't even believe that the four days we spent were so memorable and not just unique but precious too.

While I sit and think about those days, the flashback of the precious memories always strikes my mind. I cannot explain how beautiful they were. Meeting different people and learning so much about their places and schools from Powerpoint Presentations was an excellent experience. I felt amazed when I learned that the school from which Ram Charan studied was there with us. 

Whenever I sit and reflect on those four days first scene that comes to my eyes is our visit to Khalanga War Memorial. I enjoyed the trip and loved the smell of flowers from the Sal tree and the hill. I was grateful to meet mr Col Vikram Thapa and his team, from whom we learned many things about the war between Gorkhas and the British. As I am Nepali, I felt proud to hear about the bravery of Gorkhas. I enjoyed the walk up the hill, talking to the guiding sir. I felt thrilled to speak to the guiding team in my mother tongue and remain in my place. The view of Dehradun City from the hill was beautiful, in which I was trying to locate my school. I didn't know we could be so connected and share a precious moment in less time. 

I even smile when I think of the funny moments in the Khan Farm where we played fun games. Not only were they fun, but they also taught us many skills like listening, coordination, teamwork and other leadership qualities. Also, the o ji, o ji by sir from Blossom School was a lot of fun.

How can I forget the visit to one of the most prestigious schools in India for which I am really grateful? Before visiting The Doon School, I used to talk to my friend while going to school by bus on seeing the tall wall, and now I feel fortunate and grateful. Whenever I see the wall from the bus, the memories stike in my mind of taking around the school with curious minds. I loved everything about the school, from the beautiful buildings to the activities available there. 

I also miss the German Shepherd of the farmhouse, Max, Lily, and Dizzy, with whom I played. It was a beautiful moment. I was so mesmerized by the performance of The Doon Girls School students in the cultural show. I will never forget the motivational words by Monisha Ma'am. The morning walk on the Khan farm comes to my mind whenever I see the fields filled with crops and trees. On hearing the song Jeena Jeena, the moment came into my mind when the music teacher of Doon Girls School was teaching us guitar.

On the last day, when everyone was leaving one by one, I could see the beautiful memories we cherished together, and for a while, I felt sad. Before going to The Retreat, I never thought these four days would be this memorable. I am really grateful and thankful for getting this opportunity. Thanks to The Doon Girls School for being so good to us.

Shristi Khulal

Reflecting on the My Good School Retreat 2023

Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2023 at 21:52


Dear Teachers,

Hope you had a nice day.

When I got a chance to attend the My Good School Retreat in the Doon Girls School, first l was very excited to see the people from various parts of India whom I had only heard or seen on the screen. On the other hand, I needed clarification about interacting with them. But who knew that I would talk to everyone and enjoy with them. 

On the first day, we walked to Khalanga War Memorial, Nalapani, accompanied by Col Vikram Thapa and two more people. One of them was around the 70s and was very kind and friendly. We learnt many things from him, like about the Khalanga War etc. After the walk, we returned to The Doon Girls School, where we had the Icebreaking session, held after the tasty lunch in the school. In the evening, we had presentations by various schools which were knowledgeable, but at the same time, I was scared too, as it was my first presentation in public.
We left for The Doon School the next day, which was a great life opportunity for me. There we had our breakfast, and I liked the school system as it was different from regular schools; all the activities done in the school were looked after by the students and even the school assembly. After the walk in the school, we went forward to Khan Farm, Biharigarh. We had a nature walk and played many games, including the talent show, team building and leadership activity. Through those games, we learned how a leader should act.

It was the second last day when we returned from Biharigarh. Then back in school, we had to reflect on our two-day journey. And I had many things to say, but couldn't I be nervous to say things in front of others. When it was my turn to speak, I said something funny, which made everyone laugh. After that, we had our friendly basketball match between the retreat team and the Doon Girls School. Fortunately, we won the game by one point. There was a situation when I snatched the ball from a girl, but later in the game, she took revenge, which was fun.
On the last day, it was Earth Day celebrations in which many schools came and sang songs based on nature, and we also sang the song "Somewhere In The World".

I am very thankful to the Director of Pesstalozzi for giving us such a great opportunity, Shelja Ma'am, and Minaxi Ma'am for supporting us.

Thanking you 

Yours faithfully,
Monika Singh Pundir 

Minor edits were made to publish the letter in its form and substance.

Sharpening The Saw - Nishan Karki

Sunday reading with Jugjiv Sir

"We must never be too busy to take time to sharpen the saw." - Stephen Richards Covey.

Sharpening the saw means making the best use of your greatest asset, i.e. you. It means sharpening your mind physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. Sharpening the saw and sharpening yourself are the same thing. It helps to keep yourself in the best place and fresh to do your work most effectively. If you sharpen yourself, you can bring change in yourself and your habits.

You can sharpen the saw through the following :

* Positiveness on yourself

* Meditation

* Be resilient

* Read, write and learn new things

* Take care of your mind, body and spirit

* Listen to your heart and mind

* Create balance

Nishan Karki
Pestalozzi Children's Village India 

Friday 28 April 2023

Reflection on our Retreat - Tenzin Nyingsel

Many questions were spinning around my mind on the first day. Whether I'll be able to communicate correctly or not? Or will the presentation be good? All these questions raised anxiety and fear inside me, due to which I felt so hopeless. But I thought I was still in my hostel once I got there. Including all the educational and professional places we visited during the Retreat.

So at the start of the day, before going to the Khalanga War Memorial, we played many indoor games which taught many morals about teamwork, leadership and self-power. Then after that, we had our meals, which were so deliciously made and professionally served for us at the table, including the tasty sweets and cold ice-creams after every meal. After that, we went to the Khalanga War Memorial, where we learned about the importance and the history behind that place. Two to three people guided us while explaining the site's significance. Even with them, I had a great time. 

On the second day of the Retreat, we went to The Doon School, where we learned about the names of the buildings named after the great master of that school. Many of the masters who studied there and passed from there were under the lists of names of the titles who had many achievements in that school. Children learning there had many activities as optional, and the students had to move from class to class of teachers. They had a great big hall about which I liked the most and was shocked about the most! They conduct their assembly with talented students playing many instruments and making melodious music.

After The Doon School, we visited The Khan Farm in Uttar Pradesh. While going, we had many funny moments and sang many songs. Due to this, I enjoyed that time a lot. We also did many indoor games and activities when we reached there. We learned that whenever we lead a special team, we should first listen to every opinion suggested by our teammates. But we shouldn't do things in a hurry to always win; instead, we should take our time to think and do the activity with no load. At the farmhouse, we stayed one night and had a great time with the other people in the Retreat. We even had a talent show at night where everybody showed their various talents. Due to this, I got to know more about them. In the early morning, we had a nature walk. Even though I didn't see many animals, I got their presence due to the footprints and sound. Then again we were served many delicious foods and sweets at the end.

Back at The Doon Girls' School, we had our reflection time and a friendly basketball match. Since I didn't know much about the game, I joined them by cheering them up.

The days flew like thin paper in the blowing wind at the end of the My Good School Retreat. The great experience and funny moments with the people in the Retreat were about to end. On that day, we had a function held by The Doon Girls' School, where many talented kids came from different schools to sing on Earth Day. A few hours later, we bid farewell to our unforgettable friends with handshakes, hugs and promises to meet again. 

Like every chapter in the book has its own ending, our Retreat also ended with memorable experiences and friendly relations. But the chapter containing our memories will be the best I have read and experienced.

Tenzin Nyingsel
Pestalozzi Children's Village India

Thursday 27 April 2023

Sharpening Your Saw - Aati Pema

Sharpening Your Saw
This is the original artwork, and we hope you will appreciate the effort. 
Aati Pema
Pestalozzi Children's Village India

Wednesday 26 April 2023

My Good School Retreat 2023 - Nishan Karki

I have got many great opportunities in my life. The excellent My Good School Retreat is one of the best opportunities, giving me many life lessons. This will be an unforgettable part of my life. I had never been so excited about many things, but this was the opposite. I have described below my experiences and what I learned during this retreat.

Day 1: 18th April 2023

Our trip was going to be great, and I was very excited. Excitedly, I left Pestalozzi, my four friends, and my escort teacher Minaxi Rawat. I was hoping my day would go well. On reaching The Doon Girls School, we first had our RT-PTR tests. The good result was that all of our reports came negative. We assembled at the basketball for the walk at Khalanga War Memorial, Nalapani.

Khalanga War Memorial: The day's first activity was visiting Khalanga War Memorial. The Memorial was located in a hilly region which I like. Now for sure, my day was going to be very significant. When I entered the memorial surrounding, I felt like I was in my hometown in Nepal. We gathered at one place where we had our introduction. We had a little introduction about that place by Col Vikram Thapa.

Along with him, there were three more people. They all were Nepali. I conversed with them and gathered a lot of information about that place. We had a nearly 1 km walk from where we gathered to the Memorial. 

We reached the Memorial and spent time talking, making friends and clicking pictures. After some time, we left the Memorial and went back. On our way back, we also visited the Chandrani Devi Temple. Both the Memorial and temple were incredible. The sal forest also added more beauty to them. We thanked all the people who supported us during this visit. We also presented them with some gifts.

Ice-Breaking Session: The ice-breaking session was conducted by Monisha Ma'am and other teachers of The Doon Girls School. In this session, we had many activities, such as our introduction, the secret fact about us and some fun games. The games were entertaining, which also continued hidden moral values.

Schools shared their PowerPoint Presentations: In this session, students from various schools presented the Presentation about the heritages of their places. It was a very effective learning source, and we learned about the heritage of different areas.

Fun Games: We played fun games during this session, including dodgeball and chasing games.

Cultural Program by The Doon Girls School: The school girls presented various cultural activities in this session. They included choir, dance, drama and yoga. They gave all of their actions very beautifully.

 Day 2: 19th April 2023

We all came to The Doon Girls School and assembled at Basketball Court for a visit to The Doon School.

The Doon School: One of the top 10 schools in India, The Doon School indeed needs appreciation for its level of education, environment and facilities. The students studying there are very hardworking and disciplined. Even the Headmaster, Dr Jagpreet Singh, was very friendly with everyone and knew every child's name. Indeed the visit to The Doon School was once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Khan Farm, Biharigarh: The Khan Farm in Biharigarh was beautiful. It was a mango farm with small fruits growing on the trees. We stayed here for a day and had a lot of fun. We also did many activities. They included team-building sessions, walking and exploring the farm and a talent show. During these sessions, we played various games containing moral values. Exploring the farm surrounded by beautiful mango trees was fun. Coming close to nature is a great experience. In the talent shows, every group shared their talent. We sang a Nepali, a Tibetan, an English and Peatalozzi song. The food here was also delicious. Even now, also I miss the food.

Day 3: 20th April 2023

Again there was another new day starting. We all woke up and got ready for a fresh start to the day. We had to do many activities this day. We had the activities like Understanding Farming and Leader in Me. Without farmers to produce the food we need daily, we would die of hunger. Farming is an essential source of livelihood. The Leader in Me session taught us about famous leaders and their characteristics. Each school had to choose two leaders and talk about them.

After all these activities, our trip to The Khan Farm ended. We thanked all the people on the farm who supported us during this trip.

We reached The Doon Girls School in the afternoon. We all were tired due to the travel by bus. Now it was time for us to take some rest. After our rest time, we had to share our trip experience. Each child from every school shared their experience of the past few days.

The session after this was very interesting. It was a friendly Basketball match between the retreat and The Doon Girls School teams. Both the teams played very well. I also participated in and played the game. The good news for us was we won the match by one point. The score was 19- 18. After the game, we all were praised for playing so well.

Day 4: 21st April 2023

This was the last day of our retreat. The activities today were only till the afternoon. On this day, the activities included workshops like needlework, art, craft, designing, bamboo works, music, etc. There was a music festival also.

I attended the needlework class and the bamboo work class. I found both of them very interesting and valuable. I enjoyed this time and learned new things.

The Music Festival - Music of Spheres was conducted by the Doon Girls School. Many other schools also participated in this event. We sang a song called Changer of Seasons. All the schools sang very beautifully. Indeed, music brings peace to mind.

After this session, we had some snacks and left for home. It was such a wonderful experience.

Nishan Karki is a great youth ambassador for Pestalozzi Children's Village India.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Stop It! - Reveda Bhatt

Do you know what the most vulnerable thing in this world is?

Well, that's trust.
Something we should have loyalty towards-but what most of us end up breaking!
Trust the root of all trouble and hurt, the fruit of all trust.
Look, that doesn't mean Stop Trusting but follow your gut because this energy within us knows of everything. 
It knows what's wrong-well; technically, there's nothing right or wrong, but in the way of saying, we just know.
Then, the question arises, "Why is "wrong" being done by people then?"
Well, that's because we do not nurture that energy in the way of guiding us and just go by simple means to suppress it. Ideally, trust should never be broken because one should see the feeling behind it: love and attachment. Once one knows that, their gut instinct should get in the way of breaking one's trust.
Yeah, but open your eyes to the world of reality! Snap out of this logic because that's not what happens here!
Keeping aside feeling like "obstacles pulling us back," people look for gain everywhere, and then, what's better than gaining out of the vulnerable person close to us!?
That's how every person on this planet finds a way to survive here! Some hurt to get better, while some get broken to become worse mentally and emotionally!
Alright, alright.
But then, what's a way to avoid this?
Stop trusting others and start trusting yourself-
give way to your instinct,
that will show you-
what's light even when there's dark,
what's right even when it is wrong,
what's life even when there's hurt,
what's trust even when there's rust in everyone's heart!
AND THEN, BE STRONG because who knows what's to come?

Reveda Bhatt
Grade X
The Aryan School

Sharpening The Saw - Rishona Chopra

When a woodcutter's saw is blunt, he sharpens it to work more effectively. Similarly, our mind needs motivation and energy to do something effectively. 

Our priorities should be organised and well-conducted. We all need a break and a time when we can just refresh ourselves by pampering ourselves or doing anything that makes us happy. If we keep working all day long without taking a break, not only will we be tired, but the work's efficiency will not come out to its true potential. 

When a lion is about to attack its prey, it takes a few steps back so it can attack with full force. Sharpening The Saw simply means to refresh, energize and motivate oneself to do a task.

I personally don't like the word "workaholic". This is because it is not suitable to work continuously for long hours at a stretch. We stop enjoying the work we do and consider it as something we are forced to do.  In the long term, it affects our work speed, efficiency and, most importantly, our health. 

An even better attitude is to re-energise, not to do work but to be a better person. Motivation and hope include reflection. Reflection in every aspect of life. The sharpener needs to be solid and good enough to sharpen the saw. That means our attitude and positivity matter quite a lot. But how can we maintain a positive attitude throughout the day even when there is constantly a problem? 

First, we will have to come to terms with the truth of life - We will face problems every day and every time. Every situation will have a downside and problem, but we must overcome them. 

While dealing with problems is like a war; one has a stronger army, and the other has a weaker military. In the battle between the issues and humans, humans have the upper hand as it depends entirely on their thoughts and attitude that decides who will win. We must remember that every problem has a solution. 

Second, we need to know our feelings whenever we feel negative, sad or hopeless. We should be on the lookout for such thoughts and not let them control our minds, but if we ever see a valid risk, we shouldn't ignore it. We should be able to understand and differentiate between the necessary and the unnecessary thoughts. 

Lastly, we should replace our pessimism with optimism. 

To conclude, we need motivation and energy to do a task, so it is vital to make time for renewing activities. But, all of that is only useful if we have an optimistic attitude towards life and all our tasks. We need to sharpen the mind, but in reality, the mind is the sharpener!

Rishona Chopra
Grade VII
Gyanshree School

My pen's view on nature - Yashraj Sharma


A big part of who we are or how we are recognised is the company we stay in, which means the type of people we are surrounded by.  

Mother nature is also filled with examples like this, like this picture I took today at the Pradhan Mantri Sanghralaya. Let me tell you the 2 ideas I came up with when I first saw this picture.

First, I thought that the part of the tree with the concrete wall in its background is the stage in a person's life when they have a fixed, enclosed and rigid mindset. But the part of the tree with the other trees in its background is part of a person's life when they are mixed with people with positive vibes and a "growth" mindset open to new thoughts and suggestions. This thought about the different perspectives of people depicted in this picture came to me from the 'My Guide Inside' session on Friday.

The second utterly different idea I came up with was that when the tree had the concrete wall in its background, it is the stage in a person's life when they sometimes get mixed in "negative" company. But the part of the photo where the tree has other lush green trees in its background. That is the stage when a person slowly progresses to be surrounded by people with positive feelings, thoughts, discussions and ideas.

These precious teachings and skills to live life to the fullest, provided by nature, are everywhere, just sitting in the landscape waiting to be discovered….

Yashraj Sharma

Grade: IX

Gyanshree School, Noida

Meet and Greet with Bhairavi Jani

Learning Forward Podcast Season 10 Episode 14, we try to understand India's strategy for unleashing its innate greatness: Ms Bhairavi Jani, the author of Highway to Swades. Join Anvesha and Rishona on this marvellous trip to rediscover India's superpowers. In a country overflowing with its culture, a nation intertwined along with its love for heritage and a place blossoming in its beautiful diversity. We belong to India, the land of differences, but these differences act as a binding force for each of us. India is indeed a great country, full of stories to tell and experiences to share. Indeed, all the powers mentioned in the book have their unique meaning.

Photo courtesy:

Heaven is Haven - Reveda Bhatt

 My Favorite Place In The World

Everyone desires to go abroad to explore on vacation. Earlier, I also used to fall in with the typical crowd and wished that "To go abroad on this vacation would be very nice." On the contrary, we went on adventures in our country India, in general, and our state Uttarakhand, in particular. This is because my father loves his motherland and religion deeply. It was not like I wasn't happy on our "interstate" trips, but maybe it was for the feeling of bragging that I wished to go abroad. Anyways, the past is past; what is essential is that I have come to realise that back then, I was foolish!

"Devbhoomi", the land of Gods, is my "Matribhoomi", my motherland, and to explore every part of this land is my moral duty so that I never forget or be unaware of my roots, at least me! The wonders hidden here or found here are unexplored.

The "Char Dhaam Yatra" isn't something I've been on, but it is something I'd love to be on. It's just unimaginable for atheists and unexplainable to anyone not on the same page as me. It took time for me to picture everything, but I consider myself lucky enough to understand my mother nation's importance. Many invaders came to put us down, but we stood up again because, exceptionally, our land had that courage. Every part of our country is flourishing and with different tribes living altogether. Uttarakhand is another such state blessed with the presence of pilgrimages, the importance of which foreigners have come to understand, but the saddening part of it is that we, being Indians, are craving to fly out of our culture and taste some other culture.

My favourite part about Uttarakhand is that anytime I feel distinct and not closer to my culture, some or the other reminisce of any cultural trip or the power of the fresh air brings me back to connecting with it again! The treks on mountains, the "living on lakes", the rafting on the Ganges, you name any adventure, you'll find it here. Our villages have their authenticity still alive-cooking in clay pots on a self-lit fire, picking out sticks, drawing out water. I am an adventurous person so, for me, what's better!? The open forests, the breezes, the Temples-All is here at my favourite place.

To keep the culture of my country alive, I'd do anything that is in my hands! We all should! Growing every day! Diving deeper today! #BackToRoots!

Reveda Bhatt
Grade X
The Aryan School

Reveda is fond of art and writes blogs at My Good School.

Sunday 23 April 2023

My Good School Retreat 2023 - Tenzin Jambey

Seeing all the teachers and friends leaving with whom I spent an excellent time for four days, I almost cried. After spending four days together, I felt like we had been together for a very long period, and during this time, I became very close with them; I suppose that we all became so close that we were much more than best friends and because of this bond I emotional when everyone was leaving, the only thing which  I could say was " goodbye " and " best wishes ahead " I wanted to say many things, but the words were not coming from my mouth, one after one everyone started leaving and only HPS (Hyderabad Public School) group were left, for few minutes we talked and after a while, they were also nowhere to be seen. 

I was sitting near the basketball court of The Doon Girls School with my other Pestalozzi's friends and Shelja Ma'am, we were waiting for our bus to come and then suddenly my memories flashed back and I saw two vision that deeply touched my heart, first was the vision my friends entering the school on first day with full excitement and another was again them who were now heading  back to home with happy memories, pocket full of knowledge and with sad feelings of getting apart then I remembered the words of Monisha Ma'am who on first day told us that the word retreat means "heading back" but in our case the word retreat meant  something else for us it's meaning was heading back with good memories, memorable experiences, pocket full of knowledge and atlast the sadness of getting apart with eachother, these thoughts kept roaming in my mind and I kept on reflecting upon it while I was sitting near the basketball court of The Doon Girls School (DGS) where we had a friendly match with DGS versus the retreat group, I match was fun and and went tough as I was also among the player I really enjoyed but the spectators enjoyed even more seeing us putting basket and getting tired.

"Bus has come," said Shelja Ma'am and in a minute, we were inside the bus, I still looked at the DGS building even when the bus was moving, and after a turn, I could not see the school. We were going from the same road, the road from where we went to the Kalanga war memorial, The Doon School, and Khan Farm, and now from the same route, we were going back to Pestalozzi, the same road. I was sitting in the front seat, and it was 1:50 pm, and I played the "Jena Jena" song on guitar. No other song came into my mind; only this song came, which Malan Sir played for us during guitar class in DGS.

He taught us many guitar lessons in one hour, and if we had more time, he might have taught us many more things. I don't know whether this kind of feeling comes in every person or not; I get overwhelmed with happiness when I meet someone from my place or northeast as I am also from north east "Arunachal" I feel happy to meet someone from there; the guitar Sir was from Manipur, and because of that, I got even more interest in learning from him and also many students in DGS were from Arunachal. For a moment, I felt like I had met my brothers and sisters, as we have many things in common, especially those tiny eyes. Getting apart was the most challenging situation for me; it was even more difficult than singing a song on stage on the last day among different schools and students I had never seen or met.

The bus suddenly stopped, and I opened my eyes and found that I had reached back. I didn't even know when I went to sleep, but while I was getting off the bus, many thoughts came into my mind, which made me feel a bit worried as I was absent for three days from school. I wondered how much homework I must have got, which I could do without any difficulties, but the lessons or chapter taught in school was something I had to understand all by myself. I entered my room and saw all my friends resting; I was also tired and fell on my bed and tried to sleep. Still, the memories of the retreat kept me awake for a while. Somehow after a few minutes, I managed to sleep.

At 5 pm, ma'am came to wake us up, and there was a workshop. After the workshop, my friends. I went to Cheme la Ma'am to thank her for allowing us to attend the My Good School Retreat. She was simultaneously pleased and proud of us because we guys did an excellent job within these four days; she said, "We don't need to be thanked because you all deserve it." Those who work hard are always rewarded, which motivated me to work even harder even in future. I would love the reward of attending the My Good School Retreat.

We had our study hour from 8 pm to 10 pm, but I didn't feel like studying, and I thought of writing the reflection on the trip for four days. Then I took my reflection notebook and a pen and started putting my thoughts and emotions into words. From the first day of my visit to the Kalanga war memorial to the last day of the Earth Day celebration, I kept emphasising my mind to remember every moment.

In my notebook, I wrote down the lessons I had learnt and the life skills taught by Monisha Ma'am greatly influenced and motivated me to push myself towards success. I kept on writing, and I didn't even know how two hours had passed, and at 10 pm, I went to bed. I was lying in bed when I heard the sound of thunder bursting, and it took me back to the visit to Khan Farm. We enjoyed sitting on the sofa on the veranda and seeing the thunder and shower of rain was one of the most beautiful pictures I had ever seen. The lightning of thunder brought daylight for a second, and again, the darkness came  While I was thinking about this, it was already 11 pm. I felt like someone had stolen my sleep away, I wanted to sleep, but I could not.

I missed all my friends, and I wanted to see the faces of Monisha Ma'am, Shilpika Ma'am, Kunal Bhaiya, Sathya Ma'am, Malan Sir, Taraksh, Aradhya, Snigha, Vibha, Sanitah, Tammana, Yashraj, Ragav, Oshi and my Arunachal I friend Zirpo. More than that, I was excited to sleep because I thought they all might come in my dream, and after sometimes I went into a deep sleep.

At last, I would like to thank Sandeep Sir, Monisha Ma'am and DGS group for organising the beautiful events and assisting us in various ways.

Thanks to Cheme la Ma'am for allowing me to attend this retreat, Shelja Ma'am and Minaxi Ma'am for helping us for all four days.

Tenzin Jambey
Pestalozzi Children's Village India

Thanks to the Headmaster, Staff and Students at The Doon School

Saturday 22 April 2023

Conquering new frontiers in space with Slooh

Reimagine how you teach astronomy with Slooh's Online Telescopes. Space is a vast wilderness. Slooh is like a national park with trails and guides.

Explore space in real-time from your home using S
looh online telescopes. Learn about the different objects in our solar system, track asteroids and deep sky objects like nebulas, galaxies, etc. Teachers, Students, and Astronomers can work together to observe and photograph astronomical objects.

Replace City Lights with Starlight
Siddhant Abani, our Slooh India Youth Ambassador and Intern at 
My Good School will help you navigate the spaceship!

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Order Blue Sky White Cloud - our Sunday School read.

A defenceless male elephant calf, born on the grasslands of the great Brahmaputra River, grows into a formidable tusker, journeying through the verdant green hills of northeastern India and Burma. With him, we walk through the vastness of the Indo-Malayan rainforests as he attempts to understand the humans who have irretrievably changed the jungles he roams.

Hira Singh, a forest guard in the Nadhia Wildlife Sanctuary, crosses paths with a female leopard facing shrinking forests in the hills that are her home. Their lives closely mirror each other’s, following similar patterns of love and loss, as fate resolves to bring the two together, perhaps for the last time.

Nadia, a wildlife biologist researching geese, travels to Mongolia, where she tags two geese: Blue Sky and White Cloud. As the birds fly southwards over the Himalayas, she meets Vivek, India’s Minister of State for Environment. Their instantaneous friendship soon takes Vivek to a lush valley at the base of the soaring Himalayas, where he must make a decision that will impact the lives of all around him.

With beautiful illustrations and rich prose, the three novellas in
 Blue Sky, White Cloud narrate stories from the perspectives of man and beast, showing us that, much like us, animals, too, have extraordinary stories to tell.

Reflections Since 2021