Marga Institute - Centre for Development Studies

Inter School Peace Drama Festival

An earlier peace poster competition for school children in Kalmunai organized by Marga was followed up with a second programme for promoting the idea of peace and coexistence among children and youth. Supported by a small grants initiative of the World Bank, Marga organized the drama festival on the 10th of October 2009. Five schools presented a drama each on the theme of peace and harmony, in all three languages. They enacted poignant stories of suffering by all parties to the conflict. The general theme appeared to be a strong message on the destruction and futility of the war for people of all ethnic groups. They sent out a passionate plea for youth to eschew violence and seek, at all times, peaceful solutions to conflict.

The performances, scripts, stage sets showed creative talents of a very high order as well as great enthusiasm by teachers and school principals.

The proceedings were documented on video, copies of which will be gifted to the five schools.

Participation by distinguished citizens in Kalmunai and religious leaders from all four religions and their contribution in the form of comments and suggestions displayed commitment to interethnic peace and had the potential to take an active role in future programmes. A strong plea for continuous Marga involvement with them in similar activities was made.

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A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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