Achievements

Here come the patriots of New India

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Generation-Next provides its take on how it perceives patriotism in an essay competition for school students hosted by Apeejay Education, to commemorate 74 years of Independence

To coincide with 74 years of Independence, Apeejay Education launched an essay contest for schoolchildren with the theme: ‘What Does Patriotism Mean for the Youth of Today?’

All 15 schools of Apeejay Education across India participated in the contest. The Apeejay Newsroom team screened each essay, going through the content and evaluated them on the broad parameters of language, comprehension of the theme, creative expression and originality. To ensure originality, we conducted plagiarism checks through an algorithm sourced from Apeejay Stya University.

The competition received an overwhelming response, with as many as 1113 entries.  With 463 entries in the VI to VIII category and 650 entries in the IX to XII category.

The esteemed three-member jury panel of adjudicators included Mr Dinesh Rai, former Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of UP and Former Vice Chairman DDA, Former Secretary , Ministry of MSMS , Government Of India; Mr AC Sen, former Home, Finance and Heavy Industries Secretary, Government of India; and Mr Kapish Mehra, Managing Director of Rupa Publications. 

These are the essays that made it to the coveted list of winners:

UP CLOSE WITH THE ESSAY CHAMPS

Bhavya Tiwari, Apeejay School Noida

(First Position, Seniors Category)

Please share your thoughts upon winning the essay competition?

I had a slight hope that I might do well in the essay contest but honestly I didn’t expect that I would get the first position.  I had earlier participated in similar competitions but could not secure a winning position. So this time I am very happy.

How did you prepare for the essay competition?
I did my basic research about patriotism by listening to various news channels and watching YouTube videos. I read a lot about patriotism and then tailored my content accordingly.

What does patriotism mean to you? What is your interpretation of patriotism for the youth?

To put it in a single sentence, I want to make my country a better place for everybody.

Anahit Sandhu, Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg

(Second Position, Seniors Category)

What was your reaction after learning that you’ve won second position in the essay competition?

Frankly, I am very surprised. I actually always underestimated myself a lot. So I did not expect to win. But of course now that the news has come I am really happy.

How did you prepare for the essay competition?

First, I prepared random notes on ideas I felt should comprise the New India.  Then I compiled the thoughts in the essay. Thankfully, when I wrote it, it read well.

What is your interpretation of patriotism for the youth?

My interpretation of patriotism is not about loving our country while ignoring all its problems. We must work on the problems. Love for the country means improving the issues that need to be worked upon. We have a lot of corruption, gender disparity and other issues. I, as an individual, love my country a lot but I feel that our nation — like every other nation in the world — has a lot of shortcomings. People just speak on the shortcomings, they must focus on how to overcome them.  

Mohammad Ibrahim Iraqi, Apeejay School, Nerul

(First Position, Juniors Category)

Please tell us your thoughts after winning the Essay Competition?

I never imagined that I would get the first prize.  I honestly thought that I might be in the twentieth position in the contest. I am very happy.  

How did you prepare for the essay competition? How did you go about writing the essay?

To begin with, I thought about the condition of the country. Patriotism is present in today’s youth. We saw this recently, when all of us celebrated Neeraj Chopra’s legendary victory at the Tokyo Olympics. I also included recent examples such as that of Ridhima Pandey, who has been petitioning the National Green Tribunal to curb India’s carbon emissions and Disha Ravi, also known as Bengaluru’s Greta Thunberg for her demonstrations against deforestation.

Could you please tell us briefly what patriotism means to you?

Patriotism can be practiced in many ways today. Such as by not practicing casteism, discrimination and accepting the diversity of the country. 

Armeya Yogesh Dongre, Apeejay School, Nerul
(Second Position, Juniors Category)

Please tell us your thoughts on winning the essay competition?

I am glad that I got the second position but at the same time it means that I will have to work harder to reach the first position next time.

 How did you go about writing the essay?

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is my inspiration. According to me, getting higher education yet not doinganything for the country is useless.  That was my entire thought process in preparing for the essay competition. I wrote multiple drafts and then I got the final copy.

 What, according to you, does patriotism mean for the youth?

I believe that currently patriotism would mean wearing masks, taking vaccination, not going in crowded areas and following all government restrictions regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.  Being a responsible, progressive and honest citizen would be a good start.  

Arijit Roy is a trainee correspondent at Apeejay newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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