22nd August 2003 - Page 5
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Letter To The Editor 

Experience Canada is a program organized by the Canadian government to allow students from the many provinces of Canada to interact with students from across the world.

This year, the countries were: Chile, Mexico, USA, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Britain, Germany and India. Two people from each country were selected. A basic knowledge of French was required. I went for the interview and was selected along with a student from the Mother's International School. 
Waiting at the airport I still couldn't believe I had been chosen- all expenses were paid for. In the plane to and from Paris- I felt like I was in a dream- I would be meeting so many different kinds of people. On the bus from Montreal to Ottawa, I came back to reality. I had no other choice. I hadn't expected Canada to be so beautiful but that was exactly what it was. 

We stayed at the Terry Fox Youth Centre in dormitories. It was quite similar to a boarding school apart from the fact that it had no studies, no unfair rules you wanted to break and of course, it wasn't a school! There was a games room which had an air hockey table, a vast soccer field, as well as a volleyball and basketball court. 

We visited Old Quebec, Montreal, The Hershey's Chocolate Factory, La Ronde(an amusement park bought over by 6 Flags which had 4 roller coasters and a water slide), the Parliament and of course the magnificent Niagara Falls. We attended an orchestra, a rock concert, many fireworks displays and in the course of going from here to there and attending this and that, got lost almost every time and definitely, most importantly got to "experience Canada." 

I can honestly say that those 3 weeks have changed a part of me forever. I had the time of my life while learning about cultures and people from all over the world and making the best of friends. Canada was an experience but it was also much, much more than thatů 

By Mihika Acharya, XII - B
I'm sure not many of us know that of every 10 people in the world, 1 is illiterate. And I'm sure that even fewer know that of every 10 illiterates, 5 are Indians.

Yes, friends, this statistic may be alarming, but unfortunately, it is equally true. The inefficiency and complacency shown by our government over the past few decades has brought us to a point where over 6 out of every 10 Indians find themselves unable to read or write. Subsequently, they are unaware of what is good for them and are being exploited. This, along with those involved, harms the entire country as well. Lack of awareness has sent our population on an incessant rise and the current scenario depicts a very dismal future.

But the above facts shouldn't dishearten us. Instead, they should encourage us to try our level best to try and better the situation. Various education schemes have already been put into action, and are picking up pace. However, for them to be successful, it is essential for all of us to volunteer to help educate the illiterates. We must fully realize the benefits of literacy. Firstly, there is bound to be a remarkable boom in the nation's economy. Unemployment, another countrywide concern, will also be lessened. 

The time has come for us all to join hands towards the eradication of this dilemma. It is required of us all to step forward and organize a national campaign for the elimination of illiteracy. Our petty contributions can lead to the betterment of our neighbourhood, city, state or even our country. Moreover, they can lead to the betterment of a life. 

Arnav Sharma, X-A

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