City School holds TED Like Power Talks

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T. Alphonse Reddy_Mrs Saroja_T Aruna Reddy and Dr K Suvarna seen lighting the lamp

Hyderabad, December 30, 2023: Hyderabad-based St Peter’s School at Bowenpally organised a unique program ‘Stars of Inspiration–an evening under the open sky’ on Saturday night at its premises in Bowenpally on Friday night, for three hours and continued till 9 in the night.

A platform for school-level talks, expressing new ideas, thoughts, and perspectives created. It will be an annual feature announced by Mr. T. Alphonse Reddy Correspondent, St. Peter’s High School.  Summing up at the end of three hour-long marathon talks.   He along with other colleagues Mrs Saroja, former Principal of the School, and Mrs T. Aruna Reddy, Director, unveiled a new logo, as it is entering 25 years and celebrating its Silver Jubilee in the year 2024. It began its journey in 1979 by three young social entrepreneurs to offer rock-strong Edu-foundation, he said.

T. Alphonse Reddy correspondent of the school

In an era of short messages, short forms of videos like Reels, shorts, and WhatsApp status videos, we came up with this idea of why not have TED-like short talks that fire up in two minutes even less than that. We coined it aptly ‘Stars of Inspiration–an evening under the open sky’. It is a platform for school-level talks, expressing new ideas, thoughts, and perspectives created. It will be an annual feature, he said.  The response was overwhelming. We have got 400 entries from class 6 to 12th.  We shortlisted and brought it down to 50, he added.

We have not filtered nor polished their thoughts. They were raw. Seventy per cent of the 50 speakers were first-timers.  It was their maiden talk in front of 1000-plus parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, guests and peers. It was their feelings, experiences, observations, random thoughts, personal journey, and life lessons learnt, straight from their heart, while some delivered with confidence, others struggled to speak. They put their mind out open, in their language, words, vocabulary, and thought process, he said.

Giving her opening remarks Dr. K. Suvarna, Principal of the school said in an era where the attention span of the public is getting shorter and shorter, where teenagers have become screenagers and juggle between many screens (read Mobile, TV, and Tablet, Laptop, Desktop, OTT), where people are living in a room filled with distractions all the time, the school had to do something different. Equip students with an approach so that they capture the world’s attention.  They can say what they want to say, just in the span of an elevator journey.

Team Varenya_ Pritam and Samuel made their model Fire and Gas Leakage Fichter Robot

It goes well with the school’s credo, ‘Let every child blossom’, she said. It is a celebration of expression, talent and diverse perspectives.

The Talks were outstanding examples of stand-up, speak-up, fire-up and shut-up.

The evening began with the first talk by Simra Baig of class 100. He spoke about ‘Body Dysmorphia’, a mental health condition where some people spend a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance. Nearly one million people are struggling with it, he said.

Netra Singh of class six who spoke about ‘Homegrown Genius’, came up with the idea of Anti-Sleep alarm goggles for drivers to avert mishaps. She also spoke about Robotic Pets, which can help cure loneliness and give mental support.  Especially post-COVID pet adoption has gone up and so also the cost of maintaining pets, real pets scaring delivery boys (causing the death of a couple of food delivery boys) and street dog menace (being read every day in the city).  In the light of this state of affairs, she prompted an idea of Robotic Pet and she showed her version of Robotic Pet.

Vishwanath Karthikey, a tenth grader, the youngest to set some world records in mountaineering, shared how painful the journey was. He told his friends never to give up. There were several times in my mountaineering endeavours when I wanted to give up, had I done that I would not have stood in front of you talking today. Success is the outcome of many failures.  There are no failures, only opportunities to improve, bettering oneself he said.

M.S. Mridhulya of the 9th class speaking about her journey from an introvert to an extrovert said ‘my socialising battery was always low.  Outside the comfort zone was where the magic happened in my life.  And concluded with a powerful message, the best and the only journey is the journey you must travel within you.

Ariana Kingham of Class 6 spoke about her journey from Bhutan to Hyderabad and the beauty of learning languages.  All languages are interesting, you just need to peep into them.

Speaking about Men’s Mental health, Afrah Fatima of the tenth class said men can also get anxious, insecure, abused, brad down, cry, and depressed. You must treat men the same as female victims, she said and added that the Mental health of men is important.  Men keep stress to themselves.  You are not alone. You are not first and you are not the last. You are not a burden she said.

Speaking about skin colour-based discrimination, T. Sriharshitha of class ten said that she was always discriminated against based on her skin colour.  Your skin colour is something you are gifted with. Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, and Draupadi Murmu, all are dark-coloured but still, people love them and adore them. They are an inspiration to many.  Dont colour decide your future, she said

A Greevan spoke about Wars and said those who start a war don’t get killed.  The soldier’s life is at stake. Those soldiers who go to war, may not return home.  Even if they return, his family may not be there. Even if his family is found, he may not be in the same physical condition.  When he returns, he may return without hands or legs.

Yusuf Ali moved everyone with this journey, how he fought Crouzon Syndrome (a genetic syndrome which affects the shape of the head and face). I look different.  School admission was a challenge.  Every day was a struggle.  I didn’t give up, he shared.

Speaking about how he travelled from a mere participant in track events to a national athlete, Dheeraj Sadula of the 9th class gave a message to his peers not to expect some incredible results in one day as most of the current generation looks for instant results.

Divija Hari, a 12th grader, beautifully explained the bond of friendship.  And said that having genuine connections even if they are few are better than thousands of Facebook friends.  She read out a beautiful poem ‘Brides of Bonds’, and she wrote.

The school’s Fire and Gas Leakage Fichter Robot was selected in the CBSE Regional Science Exhibition and will be participating in the National Exhibition in January 2024 in New Delhi. The winning teams gain entry to be exhibited in the Rashtriya Bal Vaigyanik Pradarshani to be organised by NCERT. St Peter’s team is one of the 30 exhibits selected out of 3169 student teams registered. Varenya, Pritam and Samuel share their journey of participation and success.

Sammathamu Swathi Hansika, an 11th grader speaking about digital liberation spoke and YourHourAPP, which gives a daily view of how often one checks phone and how frequently one uses different apps. You can then set limits with daily app timers, and unplug at night with features like Bedtime mode, etc.

Sameena Hajee speaking on bonding with blood spoke about the importance of family and appealed to parents to have mutual understanding so that their children can lead a better life.

The series of captivating Power Talks covered a vast array of topics that showcased the depth of their interests and passions. From Career Exploration to Community Service Reflection, Artistic Showcase to Language Learning Journey, Smart India Hackathon to Creative Writing, Reading, Book Review, Personal Journey, Research Showcase, TED Style Talks, Student Life at St.Peter’s High School and much more – these talks were not just informative but a reflection of the dedication and passion our students pour into their pursuits.