Witty World

Monday, February 7, 2011

World's Wetlands Day

It is observed on February 2, every year since 1997, which was also the 16th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands signed in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, by 18 countries. Today the convention has 135 members.

What are Wetlands?

Wetlands are the eco-zones or transitional zones between permanently aquatic and dry terrestrial ecosystems. Wetlands are defined as "areas of marsh, fen , peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters". A wide variety of wetlands like marshes, swamps, open water bodies, mangroves and tidal flats and salt marshes etc. exists in our country.

Importance of Wetlands:

Wetlands are integral to a healthy environment. They have been called the 'nature's kidneys' because they cleanse our environment. If you ever thought that wetlands had no value, consider the following.

Wetlands help in:

  • Controlling floods
  • Water storage or supply
  • Water purification, retention of pollutants/nutrients/sediments
  • Ground water recharge or discharge, maintenance of underground water tables
  • Freshwater cycle
  • Staging ground for waterfowl, nurseries for fisheries and wildlife
  • Stabilization of local climate
  • Protecting bio-diversity
  • Recreation, tourism and cultural heritage
  • Providing livelihoods to local people

Some facts about wetlands:

  • More than ½ of the worlds remaining wetlands have been destroyed in the 20thcentury, especially in developing countries by the demands of industrialization.
  • 1/3rd of Indian wetlands has already been wiped out or has been severely degraded.
  • Coastal wetlands provide nearly 12% of the total fish catch.
  • Nearly 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe freshwater, and nearly 1.7 billion people live in water scarce areas. (Source: The World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002)
  • One of the most important wetlands in India is the Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, which is a manmade wetland. Various migratory birds visit this park almost every winter.
  • Chilka in Orissa is another important wetland and is the largest (1100 sq km) Brackish-water Lake in India.
  • The Government identifies 6,48,507 hectares as wetland in India.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In remembrance of the Architect of India's Freedom!

Martyrs' Day is an annual observance in India to honour all those who gave up their lives in service of the Nation.  The observance is celebrated on January 30th of every year as it marks the 1948 martyrdom of The Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born on 2nd October, 1869 and assassinated on Jan 30, 1948, indeed was a remarkable personality. Millions of people from across the world held him in high esteem. There is some kind of charisma in him which simply fails to fade. His life was dedicated to the ideals of Truth, Non-violence and Love. 'The Bhagavad Gita is my mother,' he once said; and the name of Sri Rama was his shield. He was the architect of India's freedom and one of the greatest men of this century.

On the occasion of Martyr’s Day, we would like to share some little known facts about him which most of us don’t know.
  • Mahatma Gandhi spoke English with an Irish accent, for one of his first teachers was an Irishman.
  • During the freedom struggle, he wore nothing but a loin cloth, but for years he lived in London and used to wear a silk hat and spats and carried a cane.
  • He was educated at London University and became an attorney. But the first time he attempted to make a speech in court, his knees trembled, and he was so frightened that he had to sit down in confusion and defeat.
  • His income in South Africa touched fifteen thousand dollars a year! Something still a dream for most Indians!
  • Despite this worldly success he was not happy. On seeing the untold misery of millions of his fellow countrymen; on seeing thousand of them dying of starvation; the worldly success seemed cheap and unimportant to him. He gave up all his money and ‘took the vow of poverty, and since that time, he consecrated his life to helping the poor and the downtrodden.
  • Mahatma Gandhi experimented with diets to see how cheaply he could live and remain healthy. He started living principally on fruit and goats’ milk and olive oil.
  • Mahatma Gandhi got inspiration of Civil Disobedience by reading a book of an American! He had been greatly influenced by the teachings of an American by the name of David Thoreau. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi inspired millions of people world over to take the path of non-violence and civil disobedience. 5 world leaders who got Noble Peace prize viz. Martin Luther King Jr. (USA), Dalai Lama (Tibet), Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar), Nelson Mandela (S. Africa) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina) have acknowledged the fact that they were influenced by the philosophy of Gandhi. Yet, Mahatma Gandhi; the man who inspired these Nobel Peace Prize winners, never got a Noble Prize!

Did u know that General K. M. Cariappa became the First Commander-in-Chief of Indian Armed Forces after Independence?

15th January is a date of importance because of General K.M. Carippa, the man who made the Indian Army truly Indian. It was on this day, in, 1949, when General Kodandera Madappa Cariappa took over as the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Indian Army from General Roy Butcher, the last British Commander. 

This year 63rd anniversary of Indian Army. The Army re-dedicates itself to become a part of the ‘War Winning Team’ on this day. The Army Day is celebrated in the form of parades and various different kinds of army shows in not just the national Capital - Delhi but also, all the other 6 Army Command Headquarters. The day begins with paying homage to the martyred soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate, New Delhi. It is followed by parades and many military shows which feature the technology and achievements in Army which is held at the Delhi Cantonment every year. Unit credentials and Sena Medals are also presented for gallantry on the occasion.

The Indian Army is the largest branch of the armed forces of India and bears responsibility for land based military operations. It is the world’s third largest. Its primary objectives include defending India from external aggression, maintaining peace and security within the country, patrolling borders and conducting counter - terrorist operations. It also conducts rescue and humanitarian operations during calamities and other disturbances.

The Indian Army fights adversities on borders as well as with natural calamities. It works with true dedication and spirit of the motto ‘fight to win’.

Hence, 15 January is a day to salute The Jawans. So let us all salute the valiant soldiers & freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to protect our country and the people living in it thus, instilling democratization in India.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Secondary Annual Day celebrated on 22nd January

Witty International School celebrated its Ninth Annual Day at Prabodhankar Thackeray Auditorium Borivali (w) was an extravagant function celebrated with complete participation of all the children and the parents. The theme for this year was ‘Life is Beautiful’. Focus was laid on imbibing values in the students which would enable them to make their lives fruitful i.e. truly beautiful.

The event sparked off with the active participation of students from Grade V to X respectively. The students showcased their innate skills with great enthusiasm. In the morning, at the appointed time the event commenced with a prayer followed by a briefing on the theme. This was then followed by a classical welcome dance by students of Grade IX. The occasion was graced by  our respected Principal's words of encouragement .This cultural feast exhibited  an assorted platter of  diverse  cultural programs like, Folk Dances, Rock Band, Speeches and Dramas, comedy show and many more .The entire cultural event  was highly appreciated by the audience which included the Chief Guest, Parents, Invitees and Dignitaries. 

The Honorable Managing Trustee, Dr.Vinay Jain in his inspiring speech appreciated the students for their outstanding performances both in the curricular and co-curricular activities. The teachers' dedicated effort was acknowledged  and given due recognition .The Chief Guest Master Amit Singh, was felicitated for his deeds of valour at such a tender age.

Dr. Jain concluded his speech on an optimistic note with his good wishes for the yester years and the years ahead.

In this era of conflicts and continuous strife, the entry of the dove in the Grand Finale reminded one that a peaceful coexistence could still prevail in the hearts of troubled minds.

The event finally drew to a close with the vote of thanks being delivered by the Head Girl followed by the National Anthem.

Teachers' Speak - Earth in Distress

It was night time Witty school was enveloped in darkness. But there was a lot of activity in the chemistry laboratory.
The globe from the library was standing in the middle of the chemistry lab and fuming in anger. She was crying too.
The kipps apparatus with its big belly was standing close to her with a very embarrassed expression on his face.
Spring balance, beam balance measuring cylinder, were trying to find out what was the reason of such confusion.
The globe complained she was suffering because of the poisonous gases around her. She felt all the chemicals in the lab were responsible for her sufferings She accused the magnets that they were distracting the iron filings. The old and experienced microscope tried to pacify them. The globe got angry again and told her to mind her own business with cells, amoeba, cockroaches etc.
The glass slabs, slides, cover-slips started screaming. They objected to this comment . The model of teeth started laughing he-he-he. The globe got angrier and ran to the shelf where the chemicals like calcium carbonate etc sat quietly. She screamed at them;' you too are no less 'you release so much carbon-di-oxide that I suffer. Get lost!!
The potted plants cried ‘No, no, we need carbon-di-oxide.'
All the specimens like earthworm, frog, nodded their heads in disbelief. How can you like CARBON-DIOXIDE we need oxygen. Potassium chlorate looked pleased and looked slyly at ferrous sulphide.  Poor ferrous sulphide! He had no place to hide. He always gives out bad gases.
The gas jars all looked glum. They felt insulted, because they collect gas.
The thermometers sprinted at 27km/hr and shouted 'why is the temperature of this room so high?
‘Lie’, big condenser said, ‘Never mind I'll cool the vapours’
Globe was still crying she was not happy with the solution proposed by them.
She said, ‘Tomorrow I'll call the Witty kids they will surely save me’. The big fat book held her hands and took her back to the library.  All was well at last in the school library and the laboratory.
Folks it’s high time we have to set things right for our earth and distress.

Contributed by: Mrs. Swapna Ghosh (Secondary Section)

Teachers' Speak - Math Poem

My mind is turning into scrambled eggs!
What is x and y to the power of three?
Whole numbers, mixed numbers and absolute,
exponents, integers and factoring trees.

Terms, expressions and what is the root?
It all sounds like Greek to me.

I must write a poem for another class.
I'm running out of time much too fast.
So I'll talk about digits and my reaction,
while I attempt to work these equations.

Mixed operations in an expression
must be done in the following manner.
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally,
to help me remember the proper order.

Parentheses, exponents, multiplication,
addition or subtraction,
that is the order of proper action
for solving math, numbers and fractions.

With fractions when I multiply
it is best to quickly simplify,
the denominators remain the same
these do not need to change.

If fractions I add or subtract
I must remember it works like this,
each denominator must be the same
then add the top like a list.

Multiply two positives they remain just that.
Two negatives will spoil the batch.
Mixed signs will keep the minus too,
keep this in mind or stay confused.

I wish that I could remember more
But that is as far as I have gotten.
Off to bed I must go,
or tomorrow I will feel rotten.

Contributed by: Mr. Ajit Vijayan (Secondary Section)

Teachers's Speak - Meet the Generation Next

They use technology and the internet to connect with people in new and distinctive ways. Text messaging, instant messaging and email keep them in constant contact with friends. About half say they sent or received a text message over the phone in the past day, approximately double the proportion of those ages 26-40.
They are the "Look at Me" generation. Social networking sites like Facebook, My Space and My Year book allow individuals to post a personal profile complete with photos and descriptions of interests and hobbies. A majority of Gen Next has used one of these social networking sites, and more than four-in-ten have created a personal profile.
Their embrace of new technology has made them uniquely aware of its advantages and disadvantages. They are more likely than older adults to say these cyber-tools make it easier for them to make new friends and help them to stay close to old friends and family. But more than eight-in-ten also acknowledge that these tools "make people lazier."
About half of Gen Next says the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country ­more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.
Beyond these social issues, their views defy easy categorization. For example, Generation Next is less critical of government regulation of business but also less critical of business itself. And they are the most likely of any generation to support privatization of the Social Security system.
·They maintain close contact with parents and family. Roughly eight-in-ten say they talked to their parents in the past day. Nearly three-in-four see their parents at least once a week, and half say they see their parents daily. One reason: money. About three-quarters of Gen Next say their parents have helped them financially in the past year.
Their parents may not always be pleased by what they see on those visits home: About half of Gen Next say they have either gotten a tattoo, dyed their hair an untraditional color, or had a body piercing in a place other than their ear lobe. The most popular are tattoos, which decorate the bodies of more than a third of these young adults.
One-in-five members of Generation Next say they have no religious affiliation or are atheist or agnostic, nearly double the proportion of young people who said that in the late 1980s. And just 4% of Gen Next says people in their generation view becoming more spiritual as their most important goal in life.
They are somewhat more interested in keeping up with politics and national affairs than were young people a generation ago. Still, only a third says they follow what's going on in government and public affairs "most of the time."
In Pew surveys in 2006, nearly half of young people (48%) identified more with the Democratic Party, while just 35% affiliated more with the GOP. This makes Generation Next the least Republican generation.
Voter turnout among young people increased significantly between 2000 and 2004, interrupting a decades-long decline in turnout among the young. Nonetheless, most members of Generation Next feel removed from the political process. Only about four-in-ten agree with the statement: "It's my duty as a citizen to always vote."
They are significantly less cynical about government and political leaders than are other Americans or the previous generation of young people. A majority of Americans agree with the statement: "When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful," but most Generation Next reject this idea.
Their heroes are close and familiar. When asked to name someone they admire, they are twice as likely as older Americans to name a family member, teacher, or mentor. Moreover, roughly twice as many young people say they most admire an entertainer rather than a political leader.
They are more comfortable with globalization and new ways of doing work. They are the most likely of any age group to say that automation, the outsourcing of jobs, and the growing number of immigrants have helped and not hurt American workers.
Asked about the life goals of those in their age group, most Gen Next say their generation's top goals are fortune and fame. Roughly eight-in-ten say people in their generation think getting rich is either the most important, or second most important, goal in their lives. About half say that becoming famous also is valued highly by fellow Gen Next.
Contributed by: Ms. Kunjal Raja (Co-ordinator of Play Group & Nursery) 

Teachers' Speak - Anger Management

Simple ways to control anger!
If you find that your angry outbursts are negatively affecting your relationships with family friends and even complete strangers, it's probably time to change the way you express your anger
Here are some tips to get your anger under control:
Take time out, count 10 before reacting or leave the situation all together.
Do something physically exerting. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you are about to erupt. Go for a walk, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.
Find ways to calm and sooth yourself.  Practice deep breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as 'take it easy'. You can also listen to music, paint, journal or do yoga.
Express your anger as soon as possible so that you don’t keep your anger brewing within you. If you can’t express anger in a controlled manner to the person who has angered you, try talking to a family member, friend, or some other trusted person.
Think carefully before you say anything so you don't end up saying something you regret.
Work with the person who has angered you to identify a solution to the situation.
Don't hold a grudge. Forgive. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.
Use humor to defuse your anger, such as imagining yourself or the person in silly situation. Don'ts use sarcasm; it’s just another form of unhealthy expression.
You can practice many of these strategies on your own. But if your anger seems out of control, is hurting your relationship or has escalated into violence, you may benefit from seeing  a  psychotherapist or an anger management professional. Role playing in controlled situations, such as anger management classes, can help you practice your techniques.

Contributed by: Mrs. Priyanka P. Pande (Secondary Section)

Teachers' Speak - From A Teacher's Domain

My heart is filled with memories
I' ve gathered through the years,
And my experiences as a teacher,
Are now treasured souvenirs.

Each day holds so much promise
As I continue to fashion and mould.
Young lives entrusted to my care
And watch their talents unfold.

I've learnt to believe in the incredible power
That lies in pursuing one's dream,
To reach for the stars, no matter how far
Or impossible the feat may seem.

I've realised the beauty of teaching
Lies not in the knowledge a teacher imparts,
But rather in touching many a life
And building bridges between hearts.

I may be just a ripple
Along life's silent stream,
But I know I'm entrusted with a mission
To help each student accomplish her dream.

I'm proud to be the educationist I am
And due credit I'd like to give,
To all the great teachers who not only inspired
But taught me how to live.

My prayer for each teacher today
Is that God continue to reward and bless,
Their efforts as they journey
Towards the harbor of success!

Contributed by: Ms. Fiona Lewis (Secondary Section)

Teachers' Speak - Recipe of Life

First of all take 1 kg of LOVE, then add 200gms of SMILE in it. Once fermented, add four spoons of TRUST and around 30 grams of SYMPATHY as well as 1 litre of TRUTHFULLNESS. Let the mixture become a little cool and thick. Then pour some amount of HAPPINESS, and keep it in the fridge of DETACHMENT from worldly things. After an hour, cut pieces EQUALLY and start distributing them amongst friends and enemies. The name of this delicious dish is LIFE.
Contributed by: Mrs. Madhu Vanwari (Secondary Section)

Teachers' Speak - Lunch With God

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his bag with a packet of potato chips and a six-pack of energy drink and started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.
 Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.
As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!”
Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what  did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied! "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before her son responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected.”
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, Which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! Embrace all equally!
Contributed by: Ms. Richa Sharma (Primary Section)

Teachers' Speak - Generation Next...!!!

They are the best ………………………… Of course!.......................the generation next.
So parents……let your children off the nest, to explore the world…………......at its best.
Yes!.......... It is the generation next to come, Which shall create,... one world wholesome,
together shall solve, the damage we have done! Caste, creed, colour………….or religion,
Will not be a matter………….of division. Mars, Venus, Uranus…………….Saturn,
Shall they travel in a day and ……return. Global warming shall no longer exist,
As they shall exploit in a limit, The flora and fauna shall not be extinct,
As mankind shall know what to resist. Thus, the generation next is an union,
that shall go beyond……the Horizon. Better than rest, ’cos they are the best….
You’re right!.......................................... It’s the ‘Generation Next!
Contributed by: Mrs. Ajanta Lahiri (Secondary Section)


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