There are many beautiful festivities in India but one festivity remains the most highly anticipated for school-age children: Annual Day
The Annual Day celebration began with the lighting of the lamp, a tradition in Hinduism before any celebration so as to begin and end the day with an invocation of light. A speech was said to thank all of the supporters of GPM. Next, parents and friends had the opportunity to watch performances from the children. Fifteen different classes of kids dressed up in their finest clothes and entertained the audience with Marathi and tribal folk dances, skits, and English songs. As children dressed in vibrant colors spiraled around the stage, the audience could hardly contain their delight! At the end, the 3 best performances were awarded with group prizes.
During the ceremony, the 'No Plastic Ashte' campain was launched. Sample cloth bags were distributed with the goal of ending plastic usage and waste. GPM purchased over 100 meters of cloth that will be given to local women to stitch bags.
The celebration continued with a motivational speech by Ms. Nilima, an MSc. graduate, who thanked her parents for supporting her interests and encouraged her to follow her dreams. She encouraged the young girls to pursue their education and to refrain from the pressures of marriage at a young age, which has become common practice for young girls living in the slums.
The incredible day ended with awards given out to children celebrating their talent for the performances, and for their success and achievement of finishing another school year! GPM recognizes the sustained efforts of the teachers and staff that work tirelessly every day to make sure the children are given a terrific education. As a thank you, the staff were awarded a small token of appreciation.
This day was made possible because of the generous residents from Ashte village that offered GPM a pavilion and stage for the ceremony. As a thank you to GPM, a sound system was set up by local business owners that had graduated from GPM. Catering for the event was done by GPM's kitchen initiative, the Masala Mamas, that prepared a delicious meal for everyone that attended.
Both parents and children enjoyed a fabulous, fun-filled party for Annual Day. Thank you to everyone that made this day so special for all of our children at GPM!