CyberFair Project ID: 5099

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Karmanya Vadhikareste: To Us... Our Deeds
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Ryan International School
    Gurgaon, Haryana, India

4 students, ages 14-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 4, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. N. M. Parti, Ms. Lvanika Parti, Ankita, Shivangi, Heena, Shruti

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” When we looked at the stars, we dreamt of being like them. And we thought that even if all can’t be stars, we could at least twinkle. Thus, we commenced our projects with our hearts full of dreams.

Mrs. N. M. Parti, our coach, motivated us constantly and her never say die attitude inspired us to strive for the best. Lvanika Parti, our assistant coach and vivacious mentor, was always full of exuberant ideas and her presence motivated us scale new heights. Shivangi, 15, a diligent girl, believes that “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal”. Ankita, 14, the visionary, is never scared to take an initiative, for she believes that one can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. With starry eyes and hope in the living heart, Heena, 14, strives to take the future ahead with all her strength and ability. Her optimistic personality and her interest in mass media allows her to be creative, interactive and ever ready for challenges that come her way. Shruti, 15, a daring person, says, “its kind of fun to do the impossible”. She always strives to accomplish the impossible, to touch the intangible and achieve the distant dreams.

We shared responsibilities of conducting research, finalizing interviews, deciding the site layout and developing perceptions of various issues and finding their realities, in such a manner that it would promote paramount learning. Shivangi and Heena were always geared up to go about with interviews and other projects and would take over when others would become nervous. Shruti, an immensely hardworking girl with oodles of willpower was always ready to set herself new goals. Ankita edited and re- edited all the text and ensured that there were no weak links.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” And so, we joined hands, diverse in our attitudes yet united in our dreams.

2. Summary of Our Project

“Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani”

Do your deeds and be detached from its outcome. We must not rely on destiny to create us; we should ourselves shape our destiny. And as responsible inhabitants of Mother Earth, we resolved to make it a better place to live. By the medium of this project, we try to promote the ideology of doing our deeds the way we want the consequence to be.

As we look at the widespread poverty, misery and oppression in large parts of the world, the starving millions on the streets, the squalid slums which litter large parts of the world, the massacre of people who yearn for political freedom and race equality; we see how God is abandoned, religion sneered at, love despised and goodness defeated.

Our religion is only a mask, pretence, make- belief. While we preach love and service, often we deny it. Twenty- five million human- beings died to bring Hitler down but Hitlerism is not dead. Mass thinking, race bigotry, lust for power and faith in violence as supreme arbiter in human affairs- these are not dead. Religious persecutions, inquisitions, tortures have darkened many pages of the history of religions. The human race has bled a lot due to fundamentalism and communalism. In these days of deepening cleavages between different ways of life and growing anxiety for the future, we seek a faith, which demands loyalty to the whole of mankind, and not to this or that fraction of it. We call for the change of heart that religion can affect, a religion, which knows no geographical limits, a faith which transcends our love for ourselves. Religion should be the wisdom of love, which redeems the suffering man. It must become a burning conviction, a consuming fire…

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The topic of our choice was an unusual yet a contradictory one. We had to be cautious not to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments. It was a tricky task to choose our links appropriately. The topic was wide ranging and had many possible facets left unexplored, thus we had to confine ourselves so as not to deviate from the original idea. As we researched relentlessly on various religious philosophies, we came across conflicting views and contradictory statements. Often, we came across different facts from different search engines, thus we had to organize numerous visits to government run libraries so as to obtain precise information. All our team members had varied opinions on the relevance on certain beliefs in the present world scenario. We also had conflicting opinions on what the site should look like. We thought of various color schemes for the website, red to signify violence, blue to signify peace, but could never agree on any. In the end we decided upon orange and black to signify the journey of mankind from dusk to dawn and then again to dusk. For the name of the website, many words were considered, and we came upon the Sanskrit words, Karmanye Vadhikaraste, meaning, to us…our deeds, our deeds determine us and our destiny. Difference in opinions often resulted in unproductive days and waste of precious time. Conducting interviews, fixing appointments left us exhausted at the end of the day, unable to cope with academic pressure and co- curricular activities. As all the members were in high school, with the exam dates clashing with the project submission deadline, it became a complicated task juggling between studies and the project. Yet, we strived to use our weaknesses to our advantage, because 'Tests and trials do look cumbersome, Great things they bring when they come.'

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” -George Bernard Shaw

Mankind is on trial… Today, at the height of its technological power and might, mankind is facing its deepest moments of insecurity. We can dredge the seas, make deserts blossom and produce abundance for all. Yet, the threat of the meaningless, the absurd, is being felt as never before. But, will we, the supreme creation of God, let ourselves pass away to this debacle, let the human race face extermination from this planet? Won’t we try to transform this end into a new beginning, a new dawn for mankind?

In this era of insecurity, when man is searching for his identity, for the meaning of life, for the significance of the defeat he suffers by clinging to a reality that crumbles in his hands, we learnt to write our own destiny with our hands, for…

Karmanya Vadhikareste… To us…our deeds shape our destiny…

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our topic being non- conventional and out of the circuit, made it very difficult for us to find accurate information and precise facts. Thus, we referred to NCERT textbooks of grade 8, 9, 10 and 11, which provided us with specific details on various religious philosophies and various human rights issues. The purpose of education itself is to teach tolerance and understanding of the world. Our project also aimed at this goal, though in a much more specific direction. We endeavored to promote tolerance and appreciation of all religions amongst our schoolmates and in our vicinity by the medium of plays and group discussions. Co- curricular activities are an integral part of education and are vital for the development of a child’s mind. In order to instill qualities of understanding and love amongst all students we organized a host of events and activities, which included poster making, poetry and essay writing competitions. We also conducted a fancy dress competition wherein the tiny tots of our school dressed in the attires of various religions and spoke about what their religions preach. As we interviewed educationists, we realized the role played by education in developing the minds of children to become more tolerant towards various faiths.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

In order to obtain in-depth information of our topic, we interviewed victims of religious violence, educationists, religious leaders as well as common man. We conducted various surveys in our society to find out the common consensus about religion. For gathering information, we visited the United Nations Information Centre and the Indian Council for Social and Historical Research and found the local and national newspapers the most reliable source to obtain updated facts and figures. In order to obtain in- depth knowledge of our case studies, we interviewed police officials and the villagers and family members of the accused. We also interviewed psychologists and educationists in order to understand the nature of young minds. We conducted various surveys to find out the common opinion on various issues. We also visited places of worship and interacted with priests to find out the importance of rituals.

We had access to two workstations with Windows XP at home and two workstations with Windows 2000 in school with Internet connection through a 64 kbps line. The main designing of the website was done in Macromedia Dreamweaver with other features like the introductory film and music done in Macromedia Flash, Power MP3 Cutter and Windows Movie Maker. HTML, Java and CSS were also used for the development of better web pages. Interactive features such as crosswords and quizzes were developed in Eclipse Crossword Maker 2006 and Macromedia Flash. The main content was originally developed in Windows Office XP and transferred using WinRAR and WinZip. Images, videos and audios were recorded using Sony DSC-T5 and Cannon digital cameras.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient But if a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.” Indeed, children should be nurtured with unconditional acceptance, lasting friendship, love and faith from an early age. In order to instill such qualities amongst all students we organized a host of events and activities, which included poster making, poetry and essay writing competitions. We also conducted a fancy dress competition wherein the tiny tots of our school dressed in the attires of various religions and spoke about what their religions preach. Harnessing the advantages of the Internet Revolution, we could formulate an online petition, rendering boundaries insignificant. It helped to produce a better appreciation and understanding of our own self, coupled with healthy respect for humanity in its entirety. It also helped us appreciate the spiritual depth in all religions. And to portray our perception of the universal goal of harmony, we dressed up as per our view of an ideal world for life. We also visited the holy places of all major religions to find out how rituals are performed and to discern the similarities hidden within them. …And we hope, we have learnt our lessons well! Misinterpretation of religion and its beliefs that has led to division and conflict can be erased only through promoting understanding amongst varied religious groups. The mantra should be ‘catch them young’ so that successive generations do not fall into the vicious cycle of deception. Let’s realize how our deeds of today can alleviate us from the chain of suffering and lead us into a glorious future…

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Change travels like the ripple effect. Thus standing by the motto that ‘if we change ourselves, we change the world.’ we decided to be the origin of this ripple effect and change the community. Reading more about violation of human rights in the name of religion and exploring the foundations of different religions helped to bring about this change in our personalities, aiding in broadening our perspectives and helping us realize the importance of safeguarding human rights and promoting religious freedom. Moreover, skits and street play competitions which were organized by us in our school helped to instill such feelings in our fellow mates and school mates as well. Further, the teams which won these intra-school street play competitions were sent to perform in remote villages and areas where denial of human rights due to religious discrimination exists widely and plagues the society. Our online petition gained appreciation worldwide. Various activities organized in our school helped to spread the message of tolerance and peace. Being the torchbearers, we led the way and ignited change in the community. Though we cannot claim a sea of a change in our society, we can surely say that we have set the ripples of change rolling...

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Ellen J. Langer has said, “In the perspective of every person lies a lens through which we may better understand ourselves.” To broaden our spectrum of thought, we tried to involve our community in our efforts. Our interaction with religious leaders provided us with a viewpoint on the various aspects of their religion whereas educationists helped us to know what imprint violence leaves on the minds of the youth. To learn about the various aspects of being victimized due to one’s religious identity, we interviewed the victims of bomb- blasts, riots and many more. To know the view of the followers of various faiths, we talked to people belonging to various religions, cultures and nationalities. As we conducted inter- school competitions, we were shocked to see how violence has had an impact on the young minds. Prompted to spread the message of love and peace, we filed our own peace petition on the Internet. The response we got was overwhelming we were convinced that in this world, harmony is not a lost quality. We conducted various surveys in our community to find out the common consensus on religion. Our visits to the places of worship and interaction with priests helped us to know the importance of rituals in igniting the fire of faith and hope in the distressed soul. Martin Luther King, Jr. had once said, “Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Our interaction helped us to surpass all boundaries and develop a world perspective. We realized that every situation is like a coin, it always has two sides. Until we do not look at all its aspects, we do not hit upon the truth. We have hit upon the truth, the reality…

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

To us… Our deeds… shape our destiny…… This project helped us to realize the importance of doing our deeds the way we want the consequence to be. We became more tolerant towards all faiths and peoples and discovered the philosophical sides of our personalities. Our inner talents found a platform to come out and this project honed our abilities greatly. Relentless research and exploration into various issues acquainted us with the true face of our world. We gained an insight into human aspirations and developed a view of what we would want our world to be like. We were taken by shock and surprise at seeing the widespread folly and wickedness, how religion is being used as a make belief to spread hatred and violence and how we all stand helpless, looking at atrocities happening all around us. Truly, this project opened us all to the real world, lying behind the façade of deceit and pretense.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5099)

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