Mumbai, 13th October, 2022: The Aditya Birla World Academy (ABWA), one of Mumbai’s leading international schools, successfully hosted India’s very first student-led mental health festival, The Happy Place, on 7th and 8th October 2022. The one-of-a-kind festival witnessed the participation of over 220 students from grades 9 to 12 who participated in the event from across 16 schools and colleges in the city. At the opening ceremony, the chief guest was Kunal Vijaykar, a broadcaster, food writer, author, actor and television personality, and the closing ceremony was graced by Ms. Aahana Kumra, a renowned actor from the film industry.
Speaking about the festival, Mrs Radhika Sinha, Principal, Aditya Birla World Academy, said, “Mental Health among India’s students and young children is such an important topic, and the focus on it has been long overdue. Our thought process behind hosting ‘The Happy Place’ was to shine a light on this and encourage students to explore, share and develop an understanding of mental health. And I am proud to say that we successfully managed to do this. The two-day-long event was a vibrant celebration where young students came together with a purpose and expressed themselves through multiple forms of art, all with an underlying social message. The festival has helped us to drive home our core belief that the only way to affect positive change in society is through open discussion and conversations about mental health.”
Keeping in mind that students and young people all over the world have had a tumultuous two years, ABWA decided to choose ‘Resilience’ as a theme for the festival and to help students to express themselves in as many ways as possible. There were competitions across 7 categories that were judged by some of the most talented professionals in the industry.
The Solo / Duet Singing competition was judged by Music Composer and Producer Aditya Trivedi and HOD Arts & Director of Music Kanakia International School, Felix Hug. The Street Play category had noted writer Arif Ali and Integrative Psychotherapist & Counsellor and Theatre Artist, Abhishek Banerji as judges. The Slam Poetry competition also had two judges – Poet and Blogger, Anita Panda and author Leena Basumatary Kendurkar. The Dance competition was jointly judged by two noted dancers and choreographers Punita Hirani and Amey Mehta. The Photography section saw Business & Leadership Coach and noted Photographer, Malcolm Stephens, and the first woman photographer who captured a snow leopard in Spiti Valley Ms Ekta Marda judged the students. The Ad Film Making segment saw ad film industry veterans Danesh Irani and Abhay Raha as judges. And lastly, Education consultant, Ms Phalguni Dalal and Secondary Senior Supervisor at Hiranandani Foundation School, Namrata Bera were the judges for the Extempore Speech competition category.
The following schools and colleges participated in the two-day-long event: JBCN International School, Oshiwara; JBCN International School, Nerul; Podar International School (IB), Santacruz; JBCN International School, Parel; Hill Spring International School; The Universal School, Tardeo; Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai; Dhirubhai Ambani International School; Cathedral and John Conno Senior School; J B Petit High School for Girls; Fazlani L’Academie Globale; Aditya Birla World Academy; St.Paul’s High School; Jai Hind College; The Cathedral & John Connon, Fort, Mumbai; KC College, and Kanakia International School.
|Category||Position||Name of Student||School|
|Solo Singing||1st||Kareena Dholakia||Jai Hind College|
|Solo Singing||2nd||Thanishka Krishnan||JBCN, Parel|
|Duet Singing||1st||Mishka Bhosle
|Bombay International School|
|Duet Singing||2nd||Naina Choksi
|Aditya Birla World Academy|
|Photography||1st||Maya Daga||Cathedral and John Connon School|
|Photography||2nd||Ashish Shekhar||JBCN, Oshiwara|
|AD Film||1st||Arjun Vora
|Bombay International School|
|AD Film||2nd||Devesh Madnani
|Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School|
|Extempore||1st||Sidharth Narasimhan||Maneckji Cooper Education Trust|
|Extempore||1st||Aarnav Mehta||Aditya Birla World Academy|
|Slam Poetry||1st||Kunal Parikh||Bombay International School|
|Slam Poetry||2nd||Aisha Lowe||Aditya Birla World Academy|
|Street Play||1st||Prapti Patel, Aarna Dhiman, Dhanisha Shete, Anuraag Deshmukh, Shree Patil, Hania Begawala, Khwaish Hira, Malhar Shirur, Aaditya Patil, Nabeel Sait||DY Patil Nerul|
|Street Play||2nd||Kaahini Lakhe, Diana Daruwala, Rabia Asif, Zahra Dick, Rhea Ghotla, Danyaal Qureshi, Saad Sayyed, Lakshveer Singh Pable, Priyansh Kamdar, Ayan Shaikh, Zahaan Gowadia, Raiyaan Hasnain||Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School|
|Dance- Group||1st||Vedika Bhimani, Avishi Khanna, Dheeya Shah, Dhruv Shah, Abhishek Majumdar||Aditya Birla World Academy|
|Dance- Group||2nd||Angelina Pinheiro, Prathna Mulchandani, Mahika Singh, Samira Sharma, Abhijoy||JBCN|
|Dance- Solo||1st||Tarini Misra||Bombay International School|
|Dance- Solo||2nd||Aashna Sangani||JBCN Parel|