METRO PLUS

Honing skill and talent

JIMMY

LEARNING, SAYS Dilip Patel, has different meanings based on the context. Dilip is a certified neuro linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, who trains people in counselling. When it is poetry, it could mean knowing the verses by rote. In mathematics, it could be learning theorems and methods of solving a problem. Whatever the context, learning is maximum when both the physical and mental faculties are integrated. That's what the Life Skills Department at Activity is focusing on: learning in a fun-filled environment, and ensuring that both the physical and the mental abilities of an individual are in concert to maximise learning.

The organisation's next step was to reach out to schools, for which it needed to be recognised. Hence, Activity - the school fest, was conceived in 1979. The first edition of this event witnessed active participation by 2,000 students. By 1999, the number had grown to 99 schools.

The organisation wanted to further expand its boundaries, and Activity 2000 travelled to Hyderabad and Chennai. Last year, three more cities were added to its list, and this year Activity will be held in eight cities across India, with Bangalore being the destination for the national finals.

According to Syed Sultan Ahmed, MD, S.S. Edutainment Pvt. Ltd., this year, Activity will witness about 2,50,000 to 3,00,000 participants, with a total reach of about one million students. With this, Activity - The Cool Skool Fest, will become the largest school fest in the country in July-August.

A thank-you card sent to a patron by Activity.

A thank-you card sent to a patron by Activity.  

Activity has been designed in such a way that every student can find at least one event from the given 42 events in which he/she can participate in. Now that a track record has been established, Mr. Ahmed has started approaching schools for the Life Skills Programme. It has adopted the World Health Organisation's recommendations for imparting the "essential skills necessary for an individual to lead his/her life properly". The WHO defines life skills as "abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and changes of everyday life". It is not education per se, but more "a way of life".

The programme includes modules such as self-awareness, communication, decision-making, coping with stress and emotions, creative thinking, critical thinking, and a lot more.

The team is headed by Mr. Patel and Dr. Tony, a consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Nimhans. With this move, Activity has become the only organised player in the country which offers a programme of this nature. Now known as S. S. Edutainment Pvt. Ltd, corporate fests are conducted under the banners - Activity and Zestivity.

The Life Skills Programme will also be conducted under these banners.

Activity celebrated its sixth anniversary last week. Mr. Ahmed looks back at the initial days and recalls that they were tough. His main purpose was to help individuals explore and realise their potential, because he also discovered his potential as a public speaker by accident.

The young and energetic Activity team.

The young and energetic Activity team.  

It began with a couple of workshops, but when they realised that the reach was minimal, the approach had to be changed. Hence, schools were targeted to reach out to more youngsters.

Things have become a lot easier now, thanks to the excellent track record of the organisation.

To enhance the brand image and to continue its endeavour on a larger platform, it has got into a strategic alliance with Digikore Design Ltd., and has rechristened its school's initiative as Digikore Activity.

Next year, Mr. Ahmed plans to take Activity to South Asia and the Middle East, and the Life Skills Programme to six cities in the country.

Activity can be reached on 2202262.

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