Waves of pride as school floats on ‘AIR’

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015,22:04 IST By Vidya Sabu / Meera Radhakrishnan A A A

This is a proud moment for every Malayali. A school in Kerala attained the attention of all the country with its noble deeds, dedication and determination. That too because of a widely circulated mention through official media from none other than the man who mans the top seat of power in the country’s governance, the Prime Minister.
St. Mary’s Upper Primary School in South Chittoor, a not so hyped up school till date, situated in the outskirts of Ernakulam was the eye catching location of the media yesterday as it attained Mann Ki Baat recognition by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The school was decorated beautifully like a bride. All were welcomed there by a band parade.
Yesterday was a festival day not only for the school, but for the entire South Chittoor village as well. Most of the students of this school are from low income families, but they are high on spirits. Only 256 students study here. But the activities of, such an ordinary upper primary school are mind boggling.
Mann Ki Baat is the radio program hosted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he freely addresses to the people of nation on radio, DD National and DD News. The program aims to deliver the Prime Minister’s voice to the general masses of India. Since television connection is still not available everywhere in India, especially in the isolated, rural and less developed regions, radio was chosen to be the medium for the program, owing to its wider reach.
A unique letter sent by students of St. Mary’s UP School in South Chittoor here eventually paved the way to strike a chord with lakhs of people in the country on Sunday. Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bi-monthly radio program ‘Mann ki Baat’.
“The students of St. Mary’s Upper Primary School, South Chittoor, have sent me a letter; the letter is unique in many ways. The students had sent a map of India carved from thumb impression,” said Mr. Narendra Modi in his address that mainly emphasised on organ donation. Initially, he was surprised why a map of India with thumb impression? But when he read the letter, he got to know that these girls were on a mission to create awareness about organ donation.
Students and teachers of the school had mentioned in their letter that the country required more steps, including awareness programs and support mechanism, to popularise organ donation.The students had also requested the Prime Minister to speak on the importance of organ donation in his radio program.
Shajimol K Thomas,  headmistress of St Mary’s UP school, South Chittoor, had never thought that a small step taken towards public awareness would garner national attention and that too of the Prime Minister of India. The awareness program, which began on August 11 as part of the Independence Day celebrations, concluded on September 29.
Under the  program street plays were conducted by tiny tots to make common people aware about the importance of organ donation. The plays were organised at various prime locations in Kochi like Vytilla Junction and High Court, grabbing the attention of the people. All these plays eventually ended with its main goal which was educating the masses about the noble act of organ donation.
The major attraction, however, of the entire event was the 240 sq ft cloth map of India made entirely by a compilation of thumb-prints in support of the donation. Over 2,500 people along with the students had their thumbs printed upon the map. On September 29, the entire documentation of the event with photographs and the map, were sent to the PM, urging him to take urgent look into the cause.
The trigger for the concept of the entire program was a simple question from a class three student whose friend suffered from brain tumour. The student had asked whether it is possible to have brain transplantation during one of the school assembly sessions.
Abhilash T Prathap, Sanskrit teacher at the school, came up with the idea of the awareness program. Dr George P Abraham, PVS Hospitals, was invited to the PTA sessions, where parents were briefed about organ donations and transplantation.
In a similar scenario Shraddha, a girl student of Kottodi Govt. Higher Secondary School in Kazargode district recently got the PM’s attention and mention through the Mann Ki Baat program for her committed observation and compiled reactions to the program and for the ideas submitted by her for the future episodes. All India Radio Kannur also received an appreciation letter from the PM for promoting her interest in the program.

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