“The pace of my heart is mine to change… A journey forever, never ending… Swimming every inch upstream.” – Lyrics from the Song ‘Every Inch Upstream’ written by the Senior Choir
Inventure Academy’s Middle & Senior School musical drama ‘Every Inch Upstream’ directed by Arati Punwani Sunawala, Priyanka Gurjar and Deepthi Shetty, premiered at the Good Shepherd Auditorium, in the heart of Bangalore, to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
Every year, the Inventure community comes together to bring to the forefront causes which they feel passionately about and work towards accomplishing change. This has also been the focus of their annual school musical productions, and issues include exploring the purpose of education, child safety & protection, traffic, clean water and reviving Bangalore’s lake ecosystem have all been brought to the forefront.
This year’s play, ‘Every Inch Upstream’, was about many things, but at its core made us question how the everyday stagnation that we survive in holds us back. It made us realise that sometimes we need to let go of things that are holding us back, even if they are dear to us. If we really do want to challenge the status quo, why do we find ourselves taking the easy way out, always swimming Downstream? What brings about internal and external change, and progress?
The play chronicled the journey of self-realisation, reflecting that change is a constant and one has to work at it at different levels (personal, raising awareness and challenging the existing root of neglect and apathy) for it to be really effective.
Through the play, we joined five young teenagers on this journey of choice, change, progress and transformation as they swam upstream. Complete with great music, some crazy dancing, a splash of courage and a bit of the unexpected, ‘Every Inch Upstream’ was both entertaining and thought provoking!
The morning show at 11:00 am was attended by school children and parents while the evening show at 7:00 pm was open to a general audience. The shows were extremely well-received, thanks to the engaging theme, compelling acting, fabulous music, dances and props.
Over 500 students and faculty spent many hours working tirelessly every day – coming up with the theme, working on the script, rehearsing, designing costumes, creating sets, props and media material – to make this year’s Production better than ever before. And to give the audience food for thought; that real, meaningful, lasting change comes from people working and struggling together to attack the root causes of problem and that we need to take ownership for the problems we have created ourselves.
The shows began with a video showcase of the Changemaker Program and the various initiatives that have been taken up. This included glimpses of the Changemaker Challenge aimed at encouraging our youth to contribute towards making a positive difference and develop good habits of the mind. From the 60 schools and residential communities that were invited to participate, almost 50 teams of high school students submitted their ideas and proposals. 21 of these teams were selected to participate in Round 2 at UB City on 4 November 2017. 10 teams moved forward to Round 3 with a cash award of INR 10,000 per team. Furthermore, they are eligible to avail the opportunity for additional project funding of INR 20,000 each as well. Round 3 will be held on 19 January 2018 at Inventure Academy.
Chief Guest Mr Babar Ali, who is a TED fellow (2009), INK fellow (2015), Wired UK fellow (2016) spoke to the audience about the need for change and that it lies in the hands of the youth to execute it. He said, “I believe that if you are passionate about something then you can achieve anything. Age, finances, other hurdles, they just don’t matter and eventually everything works out.” Enthralled by the show, he also mentioned that he had never experienced something of this effort and magnitude by an educational institution before.
Funds raised from this Production were channelized as follows:
Towards prize money for the ‘Every Inch Up-Stream Challenge’. This is aimed at improving the quality of our lives by creating teen changemakers across Bangalore’s communities.
Towards improving the quality of education at the Govt. Urdu Higher Primary School (GUHPS).
In aid of Babar Ali’s Ananda Siksha Niketan (Home of Joyful Learning), a school with 300 students, founded by Babar Ali in his backyard in West Bengal, when he was just nine years old. It is a charitable society registered under the West Bengal Societies Act. A deeply inspiring individual, he was named the ‘youngest headmaster in the world’ by BBC and ‘Indian of the Year’ by NDTV in 2009, at the young age of 16. For further details, log onto www.babaraliheadmaster.com
Inventure Academy Trustee & Chairman, Mr Irfan Razack said, “Fascinating, creative and free; this is what Inventure teaches its students to be.”
Kim Maini said, “It takes one individual to take a step to make a difference. Inventure is always pushing its students to make that difference. The production showed such dedication to their art. Very inspiring.”
Mr. Ravi Chander, one of Bangalore’s chief evangelists and civic catalysts said, “There is a brave new world tackling change. Today’s kids give you so much hope and I am sure they will make the change necessary. My message to them – don’t give up hope, follow your dreams and make a difference.”
Ms Revathy Ashok, one of the Uncommon Commoners said, “The scale of production was unimaginable and very inspiring. My message to the students is, Be bold, Be the change.”
“What a fantastic show! Cannot believe that the ideas came from such young minds. Truly spectacular performance!” – Arathy Madappa, Communications Head, Brigade International School
“We are blown away by all of it – music, dance, story, props…all of it!” – Shalini and Narendra, Inventure parents.
#Truly awesome show. Loved that the live band was encouraged by the auction. That was a welcome surprise!”- Sapana Appiah, Inventure parent.
Quotes from students and faculty:
Mayank Nayak, an Art crew member said, “Making props and designing sets showed us the potential in everyday objects to become eye-catching installations.”
Aryamaan Dubey, BA Captain and in charge of backstage said, “This is my 9th production and its a different learning experience every time. My biggest takeaway from this was the learning of time management and self control.
Sanaaz Tyagi, an educator at Inventure, in charge of the cooking pod and the decoration of the foyer said, “Extremely exhilarated working with so many students. It was an eye-opener to see such immense potential, talent and exchange of ideas from the students.”