Monthly Archives: September 2015

World Skills India: Fine Jewellery Making regional finals held in Jaipur

Sixteen-year-old Sanjoy Pramanik, a jewellery artisan from Bangalore has come a long way – not just geographically but for also creating better opportunities for himself. Pramanik comes from a small village in the Hooghly district of West Bengal and never stepped foot outside his village, until one day a close relative introduced him to the jewellery industry of Bangalore. Now he is among the four shortlisted candidates who could represent India in the Fine Jewellery making competition in the World Skills UK, The Skills Show, to be held in Birmingham this November.


World Skills India, Finals of regional round of Fine Jewellery Making in Jaipur

World Skills India, Finals of regional round of Fine Jewellery Making in Jaipur

This is the first of its kind opportunity created for India as part of a learning and skill building tour created by the British Council and supported by UKIERI (UK India Education and Research Initiative) in partnership with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) to participate in the World Skills UK show. “I come from a small village where my father picks beetal leaves for a living and my mother takes care of the house. I do not have any elder siblings who can earn for the family this so I had to find work outside my village, in Bangalore,” says Pramanik, who recently got selected in the Finals of the regional rounds of the World Skills India held in Jaipur between 18-19th September. Pramanik has been in the jewellery industry as an artisan since he was 13 and works with a private jeweller in Bangalore creating bespoke pieces. Earning money was the best incentive for him to drop out of school.



Ten participants competed in the regional Finals for “Fine Jewellery making” in Jaipur for a chance to represent India in the World Skills show in UK. Like Pramanik many of the participants come from lower-income families and earn a pittance for working long hours in an industry, which is full of untrained workers. Pramanik earns about Rs 4,000 a month, enough to support himself and save a small sum for his family in West Bengal.

Dr Parag K Vyas, Chief jewellery expert, who has been training artisans in his Design Institute in Indore, points out an irony, “Most participants are from West Bengal. Even though they come and represent different regions but they are originally from West Bengal. There is a lot of talent in that State and not enough job avenues for jewellery skills.” Most artisans in this profession are girls because of the fine craftsmanship required in dealing with designing jewellery.

Dr Parag K Vyas, on the screening process for World Skills India:

Asrof Jamal at the Finals in Jaipur

Asrof Jamal at the Finals in Jaipur

Asrof Jamal is also no different from Pramanik. Pramanik and Jamal work in the same jewellery market district in Bangalore, though in different jewellery stores. Jamal, 16, moved to Bangalore leaving behind his parents in West Bengal’s Howrah district 3-4 years ago, in search of better livelihood. “I am paid Rs 8,000 a month for working long hours. I miss home and this competition will offer me the chance to do better for myself in this profession and support my family,” says Jamal, who is also among the shortlisted candidates for the World Skills UK in November. Ultimately two students will be selected after being groomed by Dr Vyas.


Dr Parak K Vyas: “People still prefer hand-made jewellery”

Fine jewellery making skills are an important area when it comes to competition standards on the world scale, says Dr Vyas. Every two years the World Skills competition is held, which tests a range of skills including Fine Jewellery Making. The next World Skills competition will be held in October 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Though India has an upper hand when it comes to the wider global skills set, there is still a lot that needs to be done to train artisans employed in the Indian jewellery industry.

World Skills competitions are important for India: Dr Parag Vyas 

External Links:

Watch : A short video on World Skills UK

Read: World Skills India

Post by: Debesh Banerjee
The writer is Senior Manager Arts, Digital, British Council India

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‘Future News gave me a wider vision and a sense of fearlessness’

Sayan Ganguly was one of the young journalists selected from India to participate in the Future News Conference 2015. He writes about how he connected with delegates from across the world

At the conference with delegates from other countries

At the conference with delegates from other countries

Our excitement peaked as high as we were flying when a message flashed across our screen: ‘Time left for arrival is 5 minutes.’ As our airline gradually descended through the clouds we caught our first glimpse of Edinburgh. The tiny fields, the cottages, the toy-like cars moving in a line and the vast water body called ‘Water of Leith’ looked enticing and gave us a short preview to what our five-day stay would be like.

There were two other delegates from India along with me. As we stepped out of immigration clearance the air was cold and refreshing. A few minutes later we found a cheerful lady from the British Council waving a placard and soon we were amid the other delegates from 20 other countries, ready to take part in Future News 2015, a conference for aspiring and budding journalists from across the world.

With delegates from Bangladesh and Pakistan at the Edinburgh airport

With delegates from Bangladesh and Pakistan at the Edinburgh airport

Personally, I was excited to see the Pakistani delegates, maybe emanating from a deep sense of an unexplained brotherhood. I knew from the very onset that we would click and I was not disappointed.

After the three-day conference I walked out as an individual with a broader wavelength,  a wider vision and a fearlessness that was imbibed from certain magnetic personalities especially the Reuters’ Managing Editor and ex-Pulitzer winner Paul Ingrassia and Al Jazeera’s war correspondent Sue Turton.

Sayan at the Pollock Halls of Residence with delegates from Lebanon

Sayan at the Pollock Halls of Residence with delegates from Lebanon

The delegates also added to my learning curve. They came from diverse backgrounds, from various countries each with their own perspectives and problems when it came to media and the role it played.

Apart from diving into the history of Edinburgh’s streets and alleys post-conference we also experienced each other’s cultures through long nights of debates, dance and exchange of new ideas.

My Pakistani friends left me with an important message, which echoes my sentiments: “We love you all. It’s not our people but only our governments who are at fault.”

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‘Future News helped us understand global realities’

Sarah Zia was one of the young journalists selected from India to participate in the Future News Conference 2015. She writes about her experience 

A weekend full of news is not a big deal for journalists but a weekend full of young people brimming with idealism and confidence, all set to learn from the veterans of the profession, was certainly a pleasant surprise for the nearly 80 delegates from various Commonwealth countries. From 4-6 September aspiring and early-career journalists gathered in the iconic Scottish Parliament to attend master classes on a wide range of topics related to journalism such as warzone reporting and business journalism.

The Future News 2015 Conference was organised by Future News in association with Reuters, Herald and Times group as well as British Council.

Over the course of three days, industry seniors shared valuable insights on otherwise unknown aspects of the profession apart from sharing significant tips on how to maximise one’s output as a journalist. The key talking point across the three days was the unpredictable nature of media and the disruption caused by the rise of new forces such as social media.

The line-up of speakers included Paul Ingrassia from Reuters, Donald J Macdonald from STV, Alice Enders from Enders Analysis, Douglas Fraser from BBC Scotland and Greg Beitchman from CNN. Among the most popular talks were by Sue Turton from AL Jazeera English and James Waterson from Buzzfeed UK. The speakers were an interesting mix of regional and international players.

A key highlight was Turton’s address on how she survived conflicts and the difficulties of reporting on the move for a 24X7 news environment. Similarly, being connected to a live news meeting at the Reuters headquarters was an experience that gave us an insight on how news was made. Theoretically, most of us were aware of the relevance of news values like proximity, but hearing the top editors at Reuters take major decisions gave us an idea of how these principles were implemented.

The three days were not just about learning new ideas and insights but also about understanding the experiences of fellow journalists in other countries. While some challenges are universal, others are more local and this event helped us understand global realities in a better way as we heard straight from the horse’s mouth.

The key USP of the event was the diversity of themes discussed under one roof. To say, I returned as an enriched person, would be an understatement.

Sarah Zia (left) and fellow delegate Sweta Goswami (right) with Sue Turton from AL Jazeera

Sarah Zia (left) and fellow delegate Sweta Goswami (right) with Sue Turton from AL Jazeera

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Future News was a confidence booster

Sweta Goswami was one of the young journalists selected from India to participate in the Future News Conference 2015. She writes about the insights she gained

Sweta in Edinburgh

Sweta in Edinburgh

Working for two years as a metro reporter with a leading national newspaper in New Delhi somehow gradually limited my thinking process. Not that I did not enjoy my work, I certainly did and still do. Unknowingly I was just drudging along; stuck beneath a pile of routine stories. The courage, confidence and most importantly, the very realisation that my output in terms of reportage can go way beyond the boundaries of the national capital or even India is what Future News 2015 gave me.

Future News 2015, a conference organised by the British Council for young journalists, is a major confidence booster right from the start. It starts with you being selected along with just two others through a national level essay competition. Getting selected for it in a country as big as India itself is quite something (read: to add to your CV).

Time really flew since the day I was informed that I was selected for the fully-funded trip to Edinburgh, the venue for this year’s conference. By the afternoon of 3 September, I was there at the Edinburgh Airport and by evening, I had already made around two dozen friends from countries like Egypt, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Lebanon and of course UK.
The three-day conference began 4 September onwards, and on the very first day I got to learn how news from various continents is discussed in daily editorial meetings in an organisation as big as Reuters — all thanks to Reuters Managing Editor Paul Ingrassia for the insight. Until then, I was just used to daily editorial meetings to discuss stories pertaining to New Delhi or at max, for the whole of India. On the same day, Andy Bissell of Bournemouth University gave me some real witty techniques to be used while interviewing a personality.

Day 2 was probably the most exciting for all the 93 delegates present in the conference. Sue Turton, foreign correspondent with Al Jazeera gave us an amazing sneak peek into how war/conflict reporting is done. The videos she showed actually kept most of us at the edge of our seats.

On Day 3, the last day of the conference, we were given an insight into the world of start-ups. James Waterson of narrated the story of how the start-up has grown in just two years since its inception and has now even overtaken The Guardian.

The sessions aside, the major takeaway for me from Furture News 2015 has been two fold — First, it helped me build a rapport with the speakers off stage during tea or lunch breaks second, I ended up making a lot of friends from across the globe. We all are connected through Facebook and Twitter and most importantly, everyone happily agrees to debate, discuss or just talk about the issues that persist in their respective country.

Meanwhile, the learning did not just end with the culmination of the conference, it is still on. The real work starts now, which is gradually building on the network you created in just 3 days!

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BBC Arts Hour: How tolerant is Indian Culture of new ideas?

Depending on how you look at it, India is either a deeply divided place where new ideas are constantly held back, or a land brimming with energy and new, diverse voices befitting the world’s biggest democracy.

A panel of artists and commentators came together at the British Council in New Delhi on 17 September, to talk about the boundaries of acceptability of India’s art, books and culture. Is India at a cultural crossroads and how tolerant is it of new ideas?

The BBC Arts Hour panellists at the recording session of The Arts Hour

The BBC Arts Hour panellists at the recording session of The Arts Hour

On the one hand are cases like the exile of legendary artist M. F. Husain, who was driven away after certain of his artworks were forbidden from being exhibited. Senior journalist and columnist Swapan Dasgupta highlighted the contradiction in the fact that painter Raja Ravi Varma was celebrated for his portraits of voluptuous women as goddesses, while Husain was vilified.

BBC arts hour

Senior journalist and Columnist Swapan Dasgupta (left) and NGMA Director, Rajeev Lochan

His image of the naked goddess Saraswati was seen as offensive towards Hindus and led not only to legal action, but also resulted in his home being attacked by right-wing activists.
At the same time, there is a proliferation of new and diverse voices, as writer and journalist Raghu Karnad pointed out. They are difficult to track since India comprises so many languages, he explained, but there is a new explosion of writing by the Dalits. He cited the example of a Kannada lesbian romance film that wholly embraces the idea of two women in a relationship.

Click Here: Listen to the recording of BBC, The Arts Hour:

Although there have been recent cases of conservative reaction to, for instance, the film PK, Karnad said that there has never been a shortage of people in India whose sensibilities have been offended. Such offence should not, therefore, be assumed to be a phenomenon of our times alone.

Artist Sonia Khurana and theatre activist Shilpi Marwaha expressed their desire for women to be liberated from the shackles of tradition. Khurana said that her depictions of naked women were rejected by Indian galleries only to be received well abroad. They were finally shown after that at Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art, on the insistence of fellow panellist, NGMA Director Rajeev Lochan.

BBC arts hour 2

The audience listening to The Arts Hour

Against the backdrop of the famous “Delhi rape case”, an incident involving the tragic rape and fatal assault on 23-year-old Jyoti Singh Pandey, there is a heightened level of awareness about the treatment of women in society.

The incident, which sparked intense international coverage and mass protest in India, inevitably reared its head during the panel discussion. According to Shilpi Marwah the way people react to women has transformed as a result of the publicity around the case.

A sensational slam poet and rapper, Rene Sharanya Verma, lyrically captured the moment with her debut performance of the powerful piece Reclaim the Night, which was a call for women to be able to embrace the streets after dark.

She says her work aims to empower women and raise awareness of misogyny in India. The discussion ended on the subject of digital media’s capability to empower huge numbers of people. The proliferation of mobile phones is encouraging and enabling art to be consumed and shared more easily. On the flip side, this can mean more opinions are expressed which leaves art in India open to more criticism.

The jury is divided as to how open Indian culture is to new ideas. A live performance by the two-member electro-fusion band ‘Basanti aur Woh’, fusing Led Zeppelin rock with Sanskrit lyrics certainly left our live audience feeling optimistic about the chances for diverse, fresh ideas to flourish.

The writer is the Head of Arts Programmes for the British Council in India

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Aisling Fahey: Long Night of LiteratureS

UK performance poet Aisling Fahey who is also the Young Poet Laureate for London, is in India for a session of readings as part of the Long Night of LiteratureS literary event this month. She will also be travelling to three cities: Chandigarh, Guwahati and Pune for readings. She shares how she was drawn into poetry in this blog:

  • Can you tell us about how you got into poetry

Having always loved reading and writing stories, when I got involved in a poetry project at school, the London Teenage Poetry Slam, at 13, there wasn’t any looking back. That vibrant introduction to poetry showed me the power carefully crafted words can have. They are a way to interrogate, understand and record. When you experience the impact poetry can have, and feel the atmosphere of a live event where somebody is holding the whole room with their words, you cannot help but become addicted to the art form. At 15 I joined Barbican Young Poets, a programme run by Jacob Sam-La Rose. This provided a regular space to learn about, read and write poetry, along with opportunities for publishing and performing. Still now, I use the community of writers established in various projects I’ve been a part of over the years, in order to push me, inspire me and keep me motivated.

Aisling Fahey

Aisling Fahey at a session from the Barbican Junior Poets in June this year ©Susana Sanroman

  • How did you become Young Poet Laureate of London? What has your role entailed?

There is a relatively lengthy application process for Young Poet Laureate for London. It involved initial applications, a long-listing day where you perform for a panel of esteemed judges, then a residential week for the shortlisted six filled with workshops, before a final interview. Last year, it was Lemn Sissay who announced the result on National Poetry Day in October. The role has entailed interaction with various communities and groups in London, from five to six year olds in my old primary school, to sixty year old women from Ireland, where my family is from. It has involved performances, events, workshops, panels, talks, and what has underpinned all of this is an engagement with poetry and people. I hope that I have successfully shown some of what poetry can do, and how it fits snugly into so many different environments.


Aisling Fahey © Leonie Morse

Aisling Fahey © Leonie Morse

  • What are you looking forward to about your trip to India with the British Council?

I’m looking forward to discovering, learning and immersing myself as much as I can in a way only travel allows. I am also interested to see how my work, with its influences and references, will be received by new audiences. How will the sharing of my work in such a different place transcend any cultural differences that may be present? The literature that I love most is that which may be very far from my scope of experience, but still manages to speak directly to me. It will be really interesting to see if my work manages to do this in any way.

Also, the Long Night of LiteratureS event taking place in Delhi on 25 September will be incredible. That event brings together artists from across Europe and India, I’m always excited to talk to artists from different places and learn from their practice and experience. Most of all I’m looking forward to letting all of the new people and experiences soak in, I’ll be collecting stories that I can bring back home to savour, and retell as winter settles in an attempt to conjure back some of the heat.



Extract from Cab Rides At Dawn


In the place where dawn breaks continuously,

I am relearning the properties of light.

I used to go hunting for stars on my aunt’s farm,

come back with them between my teeth

like the flesh of an exotic fruit.

We dont have these in the city, I’d say,

swallowing them until they settled in my belly,

before exploding, making me shine outward.

I confess more to strangers than to friends.


I am discussing Poetry and God in a cab
with a driver from Bulgaria.

If I recorded my conversations with cab drivers

I think I’d be closer to my dreams.

I always ask them where is home 

as they drive me to a place that is meant to be mine.



Extract from Foreign Bodies

When a stranger pronounces my name right

I want to cut our ears off,

dig for other sounds we share.


There are names I cannot pronounce.
Each time, my tongue becomes a guilty weight,
I score a tally on my thigh
of all the countries I have not been to.

We love what is foreign
because it reminds us of ourselves.



My face is my parents’ homeland,

sometimes they look at it and cry

for all the things they’ve lost,

their lost things crawl under my skin,
look, there is the river we never did swim in,
I don’t know which one of them spots it,
the vein at my temple,
but by the time they turn around
the other one has long gone.

Entombed in my face is what they built together,
when they were in the business
of making love and lives
in foreign lands.

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World Voice Project: Master Trainer workshop in Delhi

The Master Trainer workshop held in August 2015 was a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with World Voice colleagues from our Himalayan partner states and welcoming back our dear WVP Artistic Director, Richard Frostick.

world voice delhi

Shubhangi Tewari, WVP trainer, conducting a session with participants



Having Richard amongst us, infuses us with loads of inspiration, new techniques as well as, ideas for the forthcoming WVP year. I re-call attending my first WVP workshop in March 2013. Watching Richard interact with school children and help them to find their singing voices was truly heart-warming. The positivity, love and ease with which he communicated with the students, has stayed with me and continues to inspire my own practice as a WVP trainer.

During the recent Master Trainer Workshop, I had an opportunity to share experiences from the World Voice Manchester residency program, which I had attended. Here I met WVP leaders and master trainers from across the world! We marvelled at the authenticity with which British Primary School children sang in languages from countries as diverse as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, the UK, Senegal, Ethiopia, Jordan, Palestine, Nepal and India at the residency finale concert in Manchester University.

world voice project Delhi

WVP workshop participants in New Delhi

It is the third year for WVP in India, and the state master trainers’ shared their incredible work with school children in Himachal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Jammu, Delhi and the NCR. It was indeed wonderful to receive feedback from teachers that ever since they started singing in the classroom on a regular basis; the students were happier, smiled a lot more, were more energetic, alert, getting better at remembering facts or concepts and attended school more regularly!

On a personal note, singing is the most significant part of my life. I experience the happiness it provides on a daily basis. To be able to extend this joy to young people is the most valuable aspect of working with the World Voice Project.

Post by: Shubhangi Tewari, WVP Trainer 

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Jobseekers bowled over by Kris Srikkanth!

Can you imagine being selected out of 400,000 candidates for a life changing opportunity? Can you imagine attending a 3 week course by the British Council without having to pay a penny? Have you ever attended a course where the certificate was handed to you personally by legendary cricketer and former India cricket captain, Kris Srikkanth?

That’s exactly what happened to the 23 first graduates of the fully funded Rin Career Ready Academy! They were the lucky few who had been given the opportunity to attend a 3 week intensive course to help them improve their English and get their dream job! Little did they know that this opportunity was going to change their skills and attitude towards learning forever.

Rin Career Ready Academy was the brain child of Rin (Unilever). They knew they wanted to give something back to the people of South India, who had made them so successful. They knew that many young people were held back in their careers because they lacked effective communication skills. They immediately realised that they had to partner with the very best, and quickly settled on British Council!

If they were excited, we were ecstatic. This was right up our alley and sat well with our values, ideas and plans for South India. Together, we created one of the most innovative and exciting programmes our team had ever been involved in. We listened to their ambition and we doubled it! We integrated the best of our English offer- Digital resources, which would reach out to hundreds of thousands of learners, Aptis to assess language skills and face-to-face training for 200 learners- a high impact end to the whole intervention.

When the British Deputy High Commission heard about the project, the High Commissioner, Bharat Joshi, was keen to support the cause. As a result, the training for the pilot batch happened at the lovely High Commission premises in Chennai. The students were absolutely floored when they saw their classroom!

The final participants were a mixed bag – a chef, a social worker, a housewife who suddenly has become the sole breadwinner after her husband had an accident – the only thing they all had in common was their desire to learn and turn their lives around. Over the 3 weeks the 23 students and their hardworking trainer, Veena, became a real family. The students travelled from afar, leaving home early in the morning to reach BDHC on time. Their punctuality, dedication and discipline during the entire course was exemplary!


The 3 weeks flew by with innumerable CV drafts, mock interviews, fun, games, and lots of hard work. Before we knew it, the last day of the course arrived with the biggest challenge yet looming large. Every candidate had an opportunity to put their skills to the test and interview for real jobs.

D-day kicked off with interviews for top retail and sales jobs. After all the practice sessions in the nets, it was finally time for them to march out of the pavilion and onto the field. It was truly their time to shine and we couldn’t have been prouder!


Much like in our beloved cricket, this series couldn’t end without a presentation ceremony to honour the star performers. And to make sure our heroes got the recognition they deserved, top representatives from all the teams were there to cheer them on, including Mei-Kwei Barker and Stephan Roman, from the British Council team; Tammy Sandhu, representing the High Commission and Meha Parekh from the Rin Brand team. These VIP dignitaries, headlined by Cricket legend Kris Srikkanth in his keynote speech, further inspired, encouraged and motivated the learners on their continued path to success.


Certificates became trophies representing the blood, sweat and tears that had gone into this massive achievement and were handed out amidst much fanfare.

Here’s what some of the learners had to say about the programme:

D. Yuvaraj “ I am now confident to speak in English after attending this course.”

K Madan Kumar, “I have gained so much during this course, I have improved in email writing, spoken English, language etc”
Padma Priya Latha – “I wish my children get an opportunity to get trained like this”

Selvi–“ I am not scared any more, I talk to my family members in English, teach my kids what I learned here during the course. I am confident to go and get a job any were. With the confidence I got here, I have enrolled myself for computer classes. During this course I made friends, which I never thought I would do”

Jagannathan S – “We don’t want the training to end! I am very happy I got an opportunity to get trained”.
Jagan didn’t want the training to end, and we assured him that this was not the end but the beginning… Over half of our participants had been offered jobs and the others were well on their way to a new life, equipped with tools for success!

The journey continues as we travel around the other cities to touch more lives…. Watch this space….

Post by: Sitharay Nadine Krishnan

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World Voice Project: Singing and drama in NDMC Navyug classroom


The third workshop for the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Navyug teachers was held from 26 August – 28 August, 2015 at the NDMC Convention Centre, New Delhi. The workshop introduced the World Voice Project (W.V.P.) and the Drama in Classroom Project (D.C.P.) to a new batch of 30 teachers. In addition to being a top-up training for eight teachers who had attended previous WVP workshops (held on 1 October – 4 October, 2013 and 10 February – 12 February, 2015).

NDMC workshop

The NDMC workshop in progress

The workshop presented ‘music’ and ‘drama’ as additional tools to promote wider curriculum learning. The participants learnt new warm-ups, songs, drama/song teaching techniques, lesson-planning and ways of integrating WVP/ DCP with the curriculum. The discussions and interactive sessions were particularly interesting as participants (including, primary school subject teachers, music teachers, art teachers and special education teachers) raised thought-provoking questions that highlighted the relevance and effectiveness of an art integrated teaching pedagogy. While the session with 30 students from class five demonstrated ways of introducing WVP and DCP in classrooms and was appreciated very much.

School children at the NDMC workshop in New Delhi

School children at the NDMC workshop in New Delhi

It was heartening to hear the students sing Daw Hyfryd Fis (a WVP Welsh song) which was learnt in less than 10 minutes and curriculum linkages were established through it. The workshop concluded with the participants showing an eagerness to apply the newly acquired skills in their classrooms.



Voices from the Workshop:

Megh Malti: As an art teacher, WVP and DCP could be used to establish a friendly rapport with students and encourage them to think freely as well as, ‘creatively’..…. She felt she had learnt a lot during the  workshop and could use it to make her  subject (drawing) even more interesting!

Pooja: As a physical education teacher, WVP singing games could be used to engage more effectively with students. In sports or any other physical sport, quick reaction time….played a crucial role in determining the quality of the player and WVP warm-ups as well as, singing games could be used to facilitate this…. Besides, during her arrangement / substitution classes, she could use DCP to teach EVS and other subjects too! …..

Astha: ”Classes 6 – 10 were taught Senwa (song from Congo) in 2013 and they remembered it even in 2015! (earlier trained participant).”

Deepti Tyagi: ”She felt fusing arts with academics helped establish a good rapport with students. The entire class became joyful and meaningful.…….(earlier trained participant).”

Rajesh Singh Negi: ”‘Zaruri nahi hai ki aap apne bacchon ko tansen banaaein….bachoon ko kaansen banaein’…. and WVP helped in the endeavour ! [Translation : It is not necessary for us to make the students into Tansen (*a prominent Hindustani musician and singer), instead make them specialists in listening and relating better……. which could be achieved through WVP] (earlier trained participant).”


Post by: Shivaa Rawat                                                                                                                        

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Jocelyn Allen: Self portraits


The British Council India and ‪‎The Alkazi Foundation‬ have come together for a photo project titled ‪PHOTOUKINDIA – Origins that looks at works drawn from the shared history of both countries.

The exhibition of the curated entries will open as part of the PHOTOUKINDIA exhibition on October 14 at the Gallery in the British Council, in New Delhi.

Over the coming weeks, we will feature a new artist, their history with, and approach to photography. British photographer Jocelyn Allen looks closely at her work  in taking self-portraits.

Jocelyn Allen

Jocelyn Allen

I’ve always taken self-portraits since I got into photography, but never did a proper project as on my BA I tried to make my projects non-personal until the last project where I decided to make the work that I really wanted to make. I didn’t plan to use myself originally but it seemed to make sense as I would be always be available and I had been taking self-portraits because I felt inspired but no one was around/I didn’t want to bother people. I didn’t plan to make another self-portrait project but I found it to be therapeutic, especially in terms of dealing with how I felt about myself and my body. 

I am trying to find inspiration in anything and everything. I’m going through all of the books on my bookshelf and researching a lot online. Generally though, I just get inspired by going on Instagram and other platforms like Tumblr and Twitter, as well as exhibitions and talking to friends and seeing them doing well with their work. I also went on holiday last month so I was inspired by the new surroundings and the nature.

Jocelyn Allen (b. 1988, UK) has a BA in Photographic Art from the University of Wales, Newport (2010) and an MA in Photography from the London College of Communication (2014). Highlights of her career so far include representing the UK in a Biennial of Young Artists of Europe & The Mediterranean (2011), showing her work at Guernsey Photography Festival (2011), self-publishing a book (2013) and being selected for FreshFaced+WildEyed at The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2015).

Follow her Instagram feed @jocelynfreya


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