Tara Homes for Children, NGO for street children in Delhi, India

Thursday, October 26, 2017

TARA super talented girls: debate competition

For or Against? Pick a side!

The weeks leading up to the debate competition involved a lot of back and forth between all the girls. From understanding what a debate is, to watching videos regarding their topics and even hiding their debate sheets from their competitors!

Finally after lots of practice on Saturdays and during English classes we held the Super Talented Girls - Debate Competition on 29th April ’17. Kamal’s sponsors were visiting that afternoon and graciously agreed to be the judges for the event. In their own words, they ‘had a very difficult time picking between the participants as all of them did a great job and the competition was very close’.

Though the younger girls didn’t participate in the formal competition, they did try to prepare a few sentences regarding the interesting topics each of them was given. This gave them a chance to explore something new and at the same time work on making sentences in English!

Meena helped her younger friends to understand by translating the debates from English to Hindi.

Here are some highlights from the 4 groups that did compete :

Do you have to be a good student to succeed in life ?

For the topic: Noorie – Against the topic: Meena

Noorie started off the debate with an informative discussion about what she thinks is the definition of a good student and how it goes beyond studies to qualities like listening, learning and working hard. She spoke about how Albert Einstein may not have been ‘a good student’ by the rigid definition of his school and was expelled but he was a good student of his subject which led him to success.

Meena continued the topic by elaborating on what success is and how that can mean different things to different people. With her varied examples including Bill Gates, Steve Jon, Richard Branson and Thomas Edison she was able to sway the audience into believing that being a good student wasn’t the only thing that assured success.

Should we be careful about how we use energy to preserve the earth?

For the topic: Roshni – Against the topic: Vanshika

Roshni started this section with talking about how electricity shouldn't be wasted. She spoke of how difficult it would be to do any homework without electricity at night or even print any of the fun pictures we always seem to be needing for different crafts and learning.

Vanshika did her best to handle the difficult side of this debate and argued one could always use their creativity and draw and that life would be more fun without electricity anyway. She gave examples of different games people can can play in the dark.

Though the topic was a little difficult for them to grasp, they seemed to have fun with it. This round was followed by a lot of questions from the judges and the audience which gave everyone a good chance to revise which resources are renewable and which are non renewable and how the electricity we use everyday comes mostly from the non renewable coal energy and in turn we must use it cautiously to preserve the Earth.

Should there be any zoos in the world?

For the topic: Kamal – Against the topic: Noorjahan

Kamal started the discussion very well by arguing animals in the wild have no guarantee of food, medical treatment and safety which Zoos provide animals with these advantages. In the wild, animals can be hunted for their fur and skin but at zoos they are given food, taken care of when sick and kept safely away from harm. This also prevents people getting hurt as they can safely see the animals.

Noorjahan spoke next and really got her audience involved by asking questions like “How would you feel if you were locked up away from your home and family?” . She spoke about how animals also want freedom just like we do and if we would just let them be and let them live in their natural habitats, i.e. jungles we could come to a peaceful resolution. She spoke against the unfair and inhumane conditions of captivity at zoos and was able to convince her audience very well.

Is it harder to be a woman in everyday life?

For the topic: Soni – Against the topic: Nandini

Soni started the topic by discussing how people perceive women to be less capable and how this makes things difficult for women in everyday life. She pointed out that she doesn’t see many women take up jobs such as police and army officers and how they are often not allowed to do everything they may want to do.

Nandini countered well by suggesting both boys and girls can go to schools nowadays and can approach any jobs they like such as posts in the government, army, police, etc and therefore it is not harder to be a woman these days.

This topic also led to a short informative discussion between the audience and the judges. We spoke about how things sure have been difficult for women over the years, all over the world and especially in our country but that shouldn’t discourage us and we can be whatever we choose and like. Both boys and girls should feel free to do what they enjoy doing.

Overall, the debate competition was a great opportunity for the girls to speak in front of an audience and try to outwit one another! Meena won the ‘Best Speaker’ prize while Soni, Noorjahan and Roshni won for their respective debate topics.

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