St. Lawrence High School in Kolkata, India, is proud to have hosted the annual cultural festival, OPUS ’19: Leave a Legacy Behind, which took place in the St. Lawrence High School Campus on the 19th and 20th of December, 2019. The theme for this year’s OPUS ’19 was “Care for Our Common Home- Earth” and “Women Empowerment”. The empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is a highly important end in itself. In addition, it is essential for the achievement of sustainable development.
Another unique feature of OPUS ’19 was that a number of government schools were invited to participate and compete with other private schools. It was an effort to make students from government schools, who are mostly excluded and denied exposure, feel encouraged to realize their creative talent in the field of art, sports, intellectual and cultural activities.
With more than eight participating schools, both government and private, and vigorous competition in every field, OPUS ’19 presented a perfect platform for students to showcase their various talents. Innovative and thought provoking topics were chosen like“Empower a Girl: Empower a Family” for Graffiti and “Woman: Not a Sex Object” for T-shirt Painting. Millions of girls around the world face injustices like being denied an education, forced into an early marriage or made victims of gender-based violence. Through their wonderful art, children expressed that in order to champion change and create an equal world for all, we must break down the barriers that many girls face everyday. The Fashion Show for which the topic was “Fading Boundaries” stressed upon the fact that in the world today, with rapid globalization the concept of sexuality is getting diffused. The time has come to rediscover ourselves in terms of sexuality to attain individual freedom. Other topics like “Woman! Why we disappoint you” for Sketches and “Motivation” for English Elocution revolved around the fact that the world must be made into a place providing love, safety, security and shelter to women. The energetic dance performances, both Eastern and Western, spread charm and exuberance but at the same time highlighted powerful social issues like survival of women in a male-dominated society and the importance of acquiring one’s own identity.
Our Principal Reverend Father Sebastian James, S.J. regretted the fact that in India and other places women are treated as objects and denied human dignity. The central idea is to leave behind a legacy and pave the way for others to follow.It is all about taking the first step and at St. Lawrence High School we seek a redress by creating awareness in students regarding these issues.
The year 2020 has been marked and dedicated to “Care for Our Common Home- Earth” which would be a common theme for all the programs and activities that are to take place this year. On the whole it is an initiative to make school children realize the importance of looking after the environment as well as achieving equality between men and women for a balanced and healthy society.