Producing a patriotic film with students and staff to celebrate the school day is for sure a concept unheard of. It is not just expensive, but also time consuming, as the teachers and students need to strike a balance between the academics and the film shoot. Subha Niketan, a CBSE school from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, has proved that the tedious task can be completed successfully by exercising proper planning and execution and of course with due support from students, parents, teachers and staff. The school has produced a patriotic film ‘Svatanya’ of duration of 75 minutes and dubbed it into different languages. The entire school participated in the film production by sharing the collective responsibility in one way or the other. The teaching faculty sat on hours together to finalise the script, while the music teacher composed the tunes and provided the background score. The academic coordinator and the principal designed the sets and the karate teacher wielded the camera. Needless to say the choreography has been handled by the dance teacher. Of the 700 students pursuing from the kindergarten to the class X in the nearly three-decade-old school, over 300 children donned different roles, as the others participated in the production related jobs.
It was like a 12-day long picnic for the entire crew that involved in the shoot in locations ranging from the sprawling campus of the school, nearby gardens, historic Bhavanarayana Swamy temple at Sarpavaram, located a few yards away from the school, beautiful beach at Vakalapudi village on the city’s outskirts. The story was woven around several real life incidents that changed the fate of the nation about two centuries ago. From the entry of the British into the sub-continent to expand their business to the change of power from the British to the Indian leaders, all the important events were captured in an adept manner.
“Svatanya means independence in Sanskrit. Since the script is dealing with one of the most acclaimed freedom struggles all over the world, we have given this title. Our faculty and students have given their best to the project and we cannot forget the support extended by the children’s parents,” says V. Subhashini, Correspondent of the Subha Niketan. The project is not at all surprised the parents, as they are well aware that the activity-based CBSE School undertakes programmes beyond the slate. Be it observing two-minutes of silence in the morning and evening everyday or declaring every fourth Saturday as ‘no-book day,’ the school gets a special place in the hearts of its students. “Svatanya is one such initiative, where we tried to teach the entire history of Indian independence movement to all our students in a short and sweet manner,” says Janardhan Chowdary, director of the school.
“By the time we finished the shoot and screened the film for our students, all of them knew about the great movement and learned about the contributions of unsung heroes such as Sidhu, Birsa Munda, Bhaga Jatin, Udham Singh and Velu Thampi, who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle,” he adds.
With the school uploading the film to the Youtube, it got rave reviews from the viewers. Following requisitions from the parents and the patriots, special screenings were done on gigantic screens many a times. “This school day is very special in the history of Subha Niketan. Though we are away from the film song performances from the beginning and trying something different every year, we can proudly say ‘Svatanya’ is a beautiful feather in the cap of Subha Niketan,” points out Ms. Subhashini.
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