October 5th, Day 1: Even a 5.30 am drive from Dalapchand was not enough for us (the Bee Fest Team from Dalapchand SS) to reach the venue at TNA, Gangtok on time for the opening ceremony of the Bee Fest 2012. It was already 10 am when we reached there. There was an excitement and anxiety both mixed in the looks of our small group. I had told my students we were giving our best and we shall all enjoy the moment of being part of first of its kind Bee Fest 2012, an inter-school scholastic competition to be held at our state of Sikkim.
Sushil Rai, a 13 year old from class viii from Dalapchand SS, the same student who had been featured in my earlier article on Bee Fest was the youngest from our group. He was one of the two students participating at the Bee Innovate from our school. People looking at him were wondering anxiously to find whether or not he was the same person whose photograph had been featured in a Bee Fest article at . The shy looking Sushil never understood his popularity.
When we reached TNA school ground, the students from over 150 schools had lined up in four groups according to their participating events. The view my eye was watching felt me no less than an aura of watching the line-up for the Olympic Games. It was simply awesome!! I could see many of my Sikkim Express friends moving around making me feel happy and at home. I had been associated with Sikkim Express since 2008 and to me it’s like my family. After NK Pradhan, HRDD Minister officially announced the opening of the Bee Fest 2012, the four teams led by their flag bearers left for their respective event room.
With preliminary rounds going on, I was enthusiastically with my crossed fingers waiting for some good news from my student’s performance. The only thing I could do at that moment was move around different innovate models from different corners of the state. Some of them were very interesting and few out of context from my small head. I am surprise whether that was really a student’s concept or worked on by their teacher.
Few of them had innovative thoughts with small things yet something different. I would surely like to mention few of the school’s work I did enjoy. East Point SS was the best with a crazy looking innovative idea of TE-JAC, boatle- boat on plastic bottle from Duga SS was interesting, similarly Solar House from Bahai SS, the low cost refrigerator, bio-gas electricity from Dikling SS and others should be applauded for their effort in doing something different.
Among the crowds of wonderful exhibition of models there were these two boys from our school, Sushil Rai and Purna Kumar Rai with their small oven like model. Probably the youngest in the exhibition, one of them was from class vii and the other from class viii. They had made a theoretical presentation of Non Bio-degradable Electricity Generator Oven that has a multi-purpose function.
By the evening there was mixed news for our school, we had participated in the four events where the Turn Bee team and the Bee Innovate team qualified for the next day.
October 6th, Day 2: Prabha Sharma and Apeksha Chettri, Turn Bee team from our school was selected in the Top 50 from the 350 odd participants that was part of the Turn Bee competition. But at the end of the day there was no lady luck for them they failed to make it through to the Top 8 finalists.
There was a varied response about the Bee Fest on the second day. Most of them appreciated the concept behind the organization of such event while few were not satisfied with the way of organization. Nevertheless from my side there is an applauding gesture towards the team ofSikkim Express and 24 Hours Inspired for at-least making it possible to assemble the schools of Sikkim from different corners of the state under one roof. Although Bee Fest 2012 may not be the grandest of an event but without doubt it succeeded in celebrating the winners of the talent at the rural practice. To organize an event that had over 150 schools and more than 1200 students is not a matter a joke; it is an acclaim, a pat on the shoulders of those behind the scene that dreamt for the students of our Sikkim.
As the day winded up, a news of happiness arrived to us, our young school team for Bee Innovate was among the Top 12. The moment was something even I had lost hoped off. It was a moment I wish to remember for a long time, my school team was at the Top12 from the odd 150 plus schools.
October 7th, Day 3: The finals of Bee Fest competition started with an unhappy news that APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India was not arriving at the function. It was a major blow for the students as well as to the teachers who had hoped to catch a glimpse of the great leader and hear him. But it was a surprise entry of Bhaichung Bhutia, our football legend into the TNA auditorium that brought smile and joy to everyone’s face.
The final result of the four competitions was very different than I had expected. I had earlier talked with Deewakar Basnet, Chief Learning Officer from 24 Hours Inspired and I still remember my words and I had said whatever is the performance of the participants, the ultimate winners of the competition will be the students from the urban areas and most preferably it will be the students from Gangtok surroundings. The lists of winners included Rumtek SS, Namchi SS, Central Pandam SS and PNG SSS at Quiz Bee, Turn Bee, Buzz Bee and Bee Innovaterespectively. The ultimate King and Queen Bee Crown went to Central Pandam SS and TNA.
Our school failed to get the first two spot at the Bee Innovate but I am happy and satisfied that my two young students was able to break their barriers and make their presence in the big event. When I write these lines I do wish to share a small incident that I was having a call from Purna Kumar Rai’s father knowing that when shall his son return back to home as due to his absence the work at home had been messed up. His poor father did not understand that his talented son was selected among the Top 12 schools from the 150 schools at the finals of the Bee Innovate. (firstname.lastname@example.org)