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HS I-India GC presents 'Umang'

By Shreya Gurusankar and Amolika Thapliyal, Chairs and Co-Founders of HS I-India GC

The HS I-India GC is a newly established GC this year that aims to support and provide funds for the I-India NGO that works to provide shelter homes, education, and healthcare to street children, as well as marginalised women in Jaipur, India. As a new GC, we have spent a majority of the year brainstorming, and planning out a new event that we feel would engage the school community, as well as raise funds and awareness about I-India’s vision and mission.

UWCSEA East I-India GC Umang

The event that we held was an Art competition entitled 'Umang'. This art competition invited students from Grade 2–12 to create a piece of artwork in response to the three prompts provided by our GC: Women Empowerment, Cultural Celebrations, and Transformations. Participation in Umang was encouraged during art lessons for Primary school students by teachers, and students were given some class time to create their piece of art. The event was a way in which we were able to raise awareness about Indian culture and the work of the I-India NGO amongst our school community. Middle and High School students were encouraged to gather sponsorships independently for their piece of art by asking friends and family to pledge money to their artwork. We are so happy to say that we had many beautiful works of art come in. We were thoroughly impressed with not just the talent, but the hard work, dedication and time that students put into this event. We had approximately 35 students from the Primary School, and 11 students from the Middle and High school combined. 

UWCSEA East I-India GC Umang

Upon receiving all the artworks on 22 February, our GC set out to create a visual and engaging display of all these artworks in the plaza near the entrance of the school, and organised all the pieces based on the prompts that they followed. We also set up large informational banners about the NGO to provide context and help raise awareness about the great causes that these artworks were advocating for! A highlight of our display, however, was the interactive 'prompt boards' that were set up near the artworks, where we provided all the members of our school community with the prompt “tell us what _______ means to you!” where we got members of our broader community to show us their own unique interpretations of each of our prompts. This way, we were able to get many members of the community to engage with the display, prompts, and the work of the I-India NGO by reflecting on and appreciating the artworks at the display. It was immensely gratifying to see the responses to our prompt boards, with students, teachers, and faculty members offering unique and heartwarming insights into how women empowerment, cultural celebrations, or transformations was important to them!

Each school section had two winners. In the Middle and High Schools, one was for the piece which raised the most money in sponsorships, and one was chosen based on how strongly it related to its chosen prompt. As Primary School artwork did not collect sponsorships, both winners were based on how the piece expressed and connected to the chosen prompts. In order to judge the artwork, we had the privilege of inviting expert art teachers, as well as insightful faculty members to provide their input. The judging process was extremely difficult, as each artwork was not only artistically stunning, but had its own unique and meaningful interpretation of the prompt, and story behind it. It was clear that each of the art pieces deeply resonated with members of our community in some way, as people would spend lots of time admiring and discussing the artworks with their peers. Seeing this engagement was one of the most fulfilling parts of our event. 

The winners for each school were as follows:

Primary School  Middle School High School
Tania Koel Dhwani
Lucy Sachi Anvita

 

UWCSEA East I-India GC Umang

One of the most rewarding parts of the event was to be able to see the members of our GC take ownership and pride in the event and get avidly involved with the cause, planning, and advocacy of our event. Working together amidst a motivated and passionate group of students created a collaborative and encouraging environment where our GC was always ready to support each other and our NGO partner. A member of our GC summarised his experience, saying that “it was a wonderful experience and to see the UWC community’s participation was extremely rewarding.”

Overall, planning, creating and watching Umang unfold before our eyes was incredibly rewarding. It feels surreal that this event came to life and was collectively able to raise over $3,000. We could not have asked for a better start to our GC, and we’re extremely excited to further our cause. We are looking forward to continuing to grow our event and participation in the coming years!
 

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