Heritage & Service
At SKV, we are deeply involved in Heritage preservation and propagation. Every year we host our Dharohar festival in which we pick up a theme from a period of Indian History or the heritage of an Indian State. We then research the heritage in performing & visual arts, culinary arts & built heritage. We invite girls schools from all across the country to participate in competitions planned around these themes. A prize of Rs 1 lac is won by the top performing school. The money is meant to be spent on advancing the cause of Heritage studies back in their school.
Over the years, the following culture and art forms have been resurrected and propagated through our Dharohar Festivals:
Mughal Heritage: Dastan goi, sher-o-shayari, dastarkhwan, quavvali, Period dress creation, workshop on Pointing at rebuilding excavation sites.
Maratha Heritage: Art of tying a Maratha Pagri and Maratha Kashta Sari, Designing bridal jewellery, Hari Katha, Maratha Thali, Batto bai dolls, Lavni
Kashmir Heritage: Band Puather, Rauf, Kashmiri cuisine, Kasida kaari, Khatam band talav.
Sikkim Heritage: Limbu Dance, Samlo folk songs mask making, prayer wheel creation, Jhyali painting, Tashi Tegye, cuisine from the Moktu
Odisha Heritage: Dwipahara Khadya, Kumbhar Kaama, Jaya dev's Geet Gobindo recital, Saura painting, Tussar pata painting, Sundero Suchishilpa, Nachcha folk dance
"One Undertaking, Many Outcomes"
- Improves women's hygiene
- boosts indigenous machines
- provides jobs in an entrepreneurial venture
- community service
The Principal Mrs. Nishi Misra and the students recognized this problem and applied themselves to finding a way to supply sanitary napkins to the underprivileged women of 2 villages. After intense brain storming and research,they identified a low cost sanitary napkin manufacturing unit. This fully indigenous machine was designed, created & tested by Mr.A.Muruganantham of Jayaashree Industries, Coimbatore. The machine had been awarded the National Award for Best Innovation by the then President of India,Mrs. Prathiba Patil. This machine uses bio degradable materials like banana fiber to make low cost sanitary napkins and can be run by students after minimal training.
Excited at theprospect of this hugely meaningful service, the students set about finding waysto finance this machine and the first consignment of raw material. Funds were raised from Funfairs, HouseSales, contributions from Alumni and from The Friends of Round Square, an international organisation of which the school is a member. The machine arrived and was installed amidst great curiosity and enthusiasm among the students and staff.The simple training for working the machines was imparted to a pioneering group of staff and students.
The simple machines are laid out on 8 stations -- each the size of a student's study desk. The process begins with tearing the raw-cotton sheets and mixing with binding cotton in a Mixer Jar. The material is weighed and 12 grams of material is portioned into moulds which are compressed under an air-powered stamp. After inserting a water-proof strip,this initial napkin is sealed into absorbent tissue-cloth. An adhesive is applied and covered with a strip of oil-paper which can be stripped off to set the napkin in place. A maternity version with longer 'tails' is also being manufactured. At the end of the assembly line, the napkin is sterilised in a UV chamber. Sets of 8 napkins are packed together with cling-film and are ready for distribution.
The studentstarget to distribute the napkins to 250 women in the villages of Zagra, Sausa and on the outskirts of Gwalior with a sustained and unbroken supply. Batches of students spend time with the womento educate them about the use and disposal of the napkins. The huge demand for the product has set the students to work out a small scale industry model to make it self-sustaining. The model holds the possibilityof being transferred to villages as an entrepreneurial venture too. There is a huge demand for the product since it costs just Re 1/- per napkin.
Since this willbe an ongoing program, the raw material will be purchased from funds collectedthrough charities conducted from time to time. The students contribute 'shram-daan' (service by labour) andearn 'volunteer hours'. Boys and girlsof many member-schools of Round Square in the country and abroad, have signed up for the 'shram-daan'which will go a long way in gendersensitization.
The initiativeof setting up this unit to produce and distribute sanitary napkins to underprivileged women, is named "SKV-Sankalp"- a resolution taken by SKV girls to help women to live with dignity.