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Science Fair at Amarpurkashi, 26th November 2016

Preparations began early in the morning and by 8.30 am, the campus was bustling with staff and students putting the finishing touches to the presentations they had prepared.

This year, the theme for the fair was “Science and Food”, a concept completely new to the teachers and one that required a lot of discussion beforehand. However, since food is something that everyone can relate to, the topic quickly proved very popular.

The fair was inaugurated by a retired Circle Office of Police and Chief Pradhan of the local area - Anaukhy Lal Yadav - as well as the wife of the local Member of the Legislative Assembly - Shehnaz Be - and her sister-in-law and daughter.

The weather was perfect, a sunny autumn day. Among the many stalls, there was one where students presented an ideal village. Many of the items on display were labelled to show the nutritional and health advantages. Class 6 from the junior high school section of Amarpurkashi’s Krishi-Audyogik Intercollege gave an enthusiastic recital in both English and Hindi of poems about the benefits of apples and guavas. Many stalls showed the transition from traditional foods and methods of cooking to modern ones. It was very clear to see the deterioration in the quality of foods from the wholemeal chapattis of earlier times to the current fashion for noodles, fried snacks, sweets and fast foods. Two groups showed the old style of village dancing and also compared rural and modern kitchens. It was obvious that cooking has become much easier with women no longer needing to grind the grain or pound the rice by hand.

Perhaps the most outstanding presentation was one by girls from the 7th and 11th classes. Their teacher had chosen “Beauty in food” with the idea being that in order to encourage young children to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, food needed to be presented attractively. With her help, the girls had prepared wonderful plates of fruit and salad and even made small models out of various vegetables, including animals cut out of cucumbers and so on.

The presentations by Amarpurkashi students stood out significantly from those from other schools whose students simply recited by heart some information about food and nutrition. Those visitors who had not seen the annual fair before were most impressed,

All groups received a prize with first prize going to a group of 10th class students who took the theme “Food through the Ages.”