A contest that began in Bangalore goes to neighbouring country
An inter-school fiesta, which was started on a modest scale in Bangalore 13 years ago, has over the years reached out to schools in Sri Lanka and Nepal. But, the event reached a new milestone by expanding to the neighbouring Pakistan this year.
The Horlicks Wizkids, which took off in the city in 1997, soon began drawing hundreds of students from Class 1 to 12 for the electrifying, enjoyable and action-packed literary, art and cultural programmes at events held across the country.
Three years after it expanded to Sri Lanka and Nepal, the organisers decided to offer the creative platform to students of Pakistan. Horlicks Wizkids is now taking place in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. Syed Sultan Ahmed, adviser to Karnataka Knowledge Commission for Secondary Education and the mover and shaker behind this event, said last week: “We did not get permission in Pakistan last year. I'm glad we're going there this year. I personally believe the issues between India and Pakistan will be resolved only by working with the future generation of Pakistan.” Aishwarya Abbott, a Class 8 student of Billabong High in Bhopal, who had taken part in Horlicks WizKids in 2008, said: “It was a great experience. I got to meet many people from all corners of the country. The exposure boosted my self-confidence.”
This sentiment was echoed by Mumbai student Aneri Vajani who giggled: “It was really awesome! I got to meet so many people from other countries, like Sri Lanka. I'm still in touch with them via Facebook.”
The event in Pakistan is expected to get a participation of over 250 schools and 5,000 students. The event in Lahore took off on November 2, Islamabad is scheduled for November 4 and Karachi, November 7.