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Delhi’s students are finally finding happiness in schools. Rohan Rai, 10, is not stressed any longer by the thought of seeing his teacher after going through the morning assembly routine at this government school in central Delhi.
In fact, Rohan and his classmates are thrilled and excited to be in the classroom. They no more begin their day by scratching their heads to solve sums or struggling to get the grammar right.
Instead, they relax and meditate in what is termed as the “Happiness Class”, introduced in Delhi’s government schools last year. A typical Happiness Class starts with students rubbing their hands and putting them on the eyes to relax. A little bit of meditation follows. Children are themselves feeling the sounds of their surroundings.
At peace with themselves, they then go into discussions and exchange their own ideas about anything under the sun. The 45 minutes pass with happy faces all around — and it is now time to take out books.
“Initially, I thought this will be a new subject. However, this turned out to be an interesting session where we not only do meditation and listen to stories but also take part in various activities,” said the Class 6 student. The Happiness Curriculum of the Delhi government is helping students to change their attitude towards studies.
According to Rohan, during the Happiness Class, the students focus on things they would otherwise skip. “We meditate and focus on sounds — like our heartbeat and sounds in nature,” he said.
“The period begins with a few minutes of mindfulness practice, followed by a story or activity and reflective discussions. Each one of us is given a chance to reflect and express our thoughts about the story or activity.
“We are asked to draw or write about whatever we are feeling or like. We are also asked to spend time with our friends and family and express our emotions to them.” Students indulge in joyful exercises, indoor games, active enquiry, reflective conversations, storytelling, guided practices for mindfulness, group discussions and situation based role-play and skits.
The new and unique curriculum was launched by Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia with an aim to develop self-awareness and mindfulness amongst students.
“Its aim was to inculcate the skill of critical thinking and inquiry among the students,” said an Education Department official. Why this curriculum? The official said the challenges in the school system had gone beyond learning standards and academic results.
“A research conducted on suicides in India has revealed that in addition to the challenges of learning and achieving, students come to school with stresses arising from many sources including family disturbances, peer conflicts, socio-cultural components and vulnerabilities to physical and mental health risk factors.”
The research revealed 26 suicides were reported every 24 hours due to issues including drugs, broken families, fights with friends and break-ups. “Prolonged exposure to such stresses leads to long term physiological and emotional disturbances, which severely hinders a child’s learning and development.”
According to the Delhi government, the Happiness Curriculum Framework was designed following the guiding principles given by the National Curriculum Framework (NCERT, 2005).
“Children learn in a variety of ways — through experience, making and doing things, experimentation, reading, discussions, questioning, listening, thinking and reflecting, and expressing oneself in speech, movement or writing, both individually and with others,” said the official from the Directorate of Education, Delhi.
Over 10 lakh students between Class 1 and 8 and about 50,000 teachers share the 45-minute Happiness Class. According to Nikhil, a maths teacher in the government school, these activities help students to increase concentration. “The results may take some time but for development of students, these activities are important,” he said.
The reflections and discussions will encourage students to utilise the skills in their life, he said, adding that the Curriculum moves a step ahead from the textbook based learning for an overall development of children.
“The students have an active participation in the class as the methodology of instruction is through activities, stories and discussions. “The curriculum was designed to enable students to communicate effectively” he said.
The classes will also enable learners to apply life skills to deal with stressful and conflicting situations around them, he said. In just one year into existence, the Happiness Curriculum has gathered attention from not just within India but also abroad.
Last year, when Afghanistan’s Acting Education Minister Mohammad Mirwais Balkhi attended one Happiness Class, he said he wished to have a similar concept in his country. Education Ministers and officials from several states in India too have visited the classes with a view to introduce similar classes. (IANS)
By Monika Manchanda
Eating fruits is one of the most satisfying ways to tackle sweet-tooth cravings while meeting your nutritional needs. Despite many studies and research on fruit consumption in diabetes, there are a lot of speculations on the right kind of fruit consumption and its relation to blood sugar levels.
Eating seasonal and locally available fruit has many health benefits ranging from reducing sugar and inflammation levels to fighting high blood pressure -- thanks to their abundant vitamins and mineral presence! They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
The fruits listed below are not just diabetic-friendly but are loaded with fiber and water content which can slow down the sugar spikes and sugar absorption rate. Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. Turns out there is a truth in the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", after all!
Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. | Photo by Pierpaolo Riondato on Unsplash
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. They are high in fibers as well, and have been linked with lowering the risk of diabetes. Berries: Adding berries is one of the best ways to add a variety to your diabetes-friendly diet. You can choose from blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries because all of them are power-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers. Papaya is rich in natural oxidants, which makes it a perfect pick for people with diabetes. It reduces the chances of future cell damage.
Star fruit: This sweet and sour fruit is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C. It also positively impacts anti-inflammatory processes and can help repair cell damage, and it has minimal fruit sugars as well. Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin E, K, and potassium, and they are low in fruit sugars as well, which makes it a perfect diabetic-friendly fruit.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. | Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash
Melons (Musk melon and watermelon): Powerful hydrating fruits like cantaloupe and melons are recommended for people with diabetes, and people with the risk of developing diabetes. Eat-in moderation for multiple nutritional benefits like fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, and C. Dragon fruit is full of dietary fibers, vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pear are nutrient-rich, and they are known to fight inflammation and improve digestion.? Studies also suggest that consuming pears along with a healthy diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Orange: This citrus fruit is full of fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream, and its vitamin C component helps improve immunity levels.
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . | Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . Add nuts like walnuts and almonds to complement your fruit snack. you can also add flaxseeds to balance the glycemic load in the body. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Diabetics, Apples, Star fruit, Pear, Melons, Kiwi fruit
By Nimerta C Sharan
Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations, here's what you can look forward to :
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags 'Artycapucines - Chapter 3'. Six internationally -- acclaimed artists have transformed the black canvas of the timeless Capucines bag into beautiful art pieces. Each bag will be available in a limited edition of 200 and will be released worldwide at the end of October 2021.
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags. | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Add To Cart
Looking for a quick festive fashion fix for you and your loved ones? E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. The shopping platform has roped in stylista Sonam Kapoor as the face of the sale that will offer more than 2500 brands at discounted prices.
E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. | Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
The country's leading design house, Good Earth, in collaboration with textile designer Madeline Weinrib will present its collection of 'butah' motif dinnerware and home textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York. The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe.
The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe. | Photo by Jean Vella on Unsplash
Sweet dreams are made of this! Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. Spread over three floors, the bakery currently has twelve macaron flavours, their signature pastries and tea cakes and other brunch and high-tea items on the menu. Bon appetit.
Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. | Pixabay
Bright And Beautiful
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. Inspired by the richness and diversity of Rajasthan, the collection consists of organza and silk saris and shararas, gota lehengas and kurtas and embroidered odhnis. The colours and silhouettes are just right for the upcoming festive season. (IANS/ MBI)
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. | Photo by Souravi Sinha on Unsplash
Keywords: Lifestle, AJIO, sale, Deepika PAdukone, saris, Motifs, artisan, art
Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body and left her with "permanent stretch marks". For her role in the film, based on the life of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and former actress J. Jayalalithaa, Kangana had to gain 20kg and undergo major physical transformation several times.
She took to Instagram to share her experience, detailing that doing all that over the six months period left her with "permanent stretch marks". "Gaining 20 kgs in 6 months and loosing it all within 6 months that too in my thirties messed up many things in my bodya I also have permanent stretch marks as well but art comes to life with a price and more often than not price is the artist him/herself," she wrote.
"Thalaivii" showcases the varied aspects of Jayalalithaa's life, tracing her journey as an actress at a young age to becoming the face of Tamil cinema, as well as the rise of the revolutionary leader who changed the course of the state's politics. Talking about her upcoming works, Kangana currently has 'Dhaakad'.
She is also shooting for her next 'Tejas', where she plays a fighter pilot. The Indian Air Force was the first of the country's defence forces to induct women into combat roles in 2016. The film takes inspiration from the landmark event. 'Tejas' is directed by debutant Sarvesh Mewara. The film will be RSVP's second film which pays a tribute to the Indian military after the immensely successful film "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which was released in January 2019. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kangana Ranaut, Thalaivii, bollywood, stretc marks, actress, tamil cinema