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An Interview with the Founding Presidents of Perseverantia, 2022

To symbolize the emblematic milestone of Bombay Scottish, Mahim’s 175th anniversary, Perseverantia, an inter-school cultural fest was brought to life, serving the main purpose of making a difference in the environment by fighting a battle against climate change. The D-Day was a fun-filled time which involved an array of beautifully curated events, entertaining numerous talented students from a variety of schools who were persistent on bagging the trophy. Ardent discussions, a competitive atmosphere and an outbreak of chaotic buzz could be heard in every nook and cranny of the school. The exhilarating flash mob marking the end of the festive event, performed by our very own Scottishites, definitely brought its audience to the edge of their seats, bringing about wide smiles on their faces and leaving them completely elated.

We had a candid chat with its founding presidents, Tarun Patil, Tia Nagpal and Laksh Sharma. Excerpts:

Q1. What made you think of starting Perseverantia?

Tarun: I think it was the thought of leaving a mark in the school, contributing and giving back because Scottish had never had an inter-school fest before. Also, collaborating with two friends, Tia and Laksh. We were on the same wavelength, we had the same ideas.

Tia: Months ago, Tarun and I were thinking of starting an inter-school fest while Laksh was thinking about starting a climate change initiative at the time. So, we morphed the two ideas into one and decided to create a climate change fest for Bombay Scottish’s 175th anniversary.

Laksh: I found a video about the IPCC report which said that it’s a really tough situation for our planet right now. Over the course of a million years since the start of time till now, the temperature has increased by 0.5 degrees and it’s predicted to increase by another 1.5 degrees by I think 2030. That’s a really grave issue, coming from a million years to only 20 years. So that’s probably the reason why I talked to Tia and Tarun and said that we should do something because everything starts at a school level.

Q2. What's your objective with Perseverantia?

Tarun: I think we have achieved a lot of our aims and objectives already. We’ve managed to make it the biggest highlight and event of Bombay Scottish. The second objective was to get students from all across Bombay, including our school, to use their talents and skills and try to display that, to open themselves up and increase their confidence in themselves.

Tia: We want to create a change while inviting the schools in Bombay to come together for a day of fun. So Perseverantia is basically supposed to have a different theme every year, and a variety of events that ensure actual change is being made

Laksh: We were clear that this should be an action taking event rather than just raising awareness about climate change.

Q3. Tell us about the event in a nutshell.

Tia: We have 11 different events ranging from fashion to STEM to debate and dance. We have about 9 events happening in school and about 3 in an auditorium.

Tarun: The event in a nutshell? Chaos, noise, colors and happiness. Because we also wanted to bring some meaning to it we introduced climate change this year, considering the 2030 SDG goals.

Laksh: It’s a fun way to tackle climate change.

Q4. What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Tarun: I think the biggest challenge has been getting the most competent heads who tick all the right boxes because we are a batch of 120 and have so many heads for the departments.

Tia: I think my biggest problem so far has been logistics of the event, since in the preliminary stages we were inviting only a few schools, but ended up inviting 15 to 20, and about 800 to a 1000 participants are now attending.

Laksh: I think the biggest obstacle has been Covid because the event has seen so many progressions like first, we were online then offline then online and now finally the event is offline, which we really wanted from the start.

Q5. How do you think it will make an impact on the school?

Tarun: Hmm, I think this competition is different from usual inter-house ones as you get students from other schools to come and participate and we have this sort of mixing of cultures.

Tia: I think we are going to leave behind a legacy which we trust our juniors will carry forward every year and we just hope that it becomes a trademark of Scottish and something our school is known for.

Laksh: We’ve set the foundation and the base so it’ll become a part of Bombay Scottish.

Q6. A lot of events cover climate change. How's this one different?

Laksh: Most of the events just create awareness, they talk about issues and expect you to do something, whereas we are going to actually make a difference by taking some action. For example, we have an event called Executio where every school is going to take up a climate change initiative in their locality and they’re going to do something about it, like an e-waste collection drive or a beach clean up or anything they want. And we’re going to do it at a school level so we’re making people aware and making them take action at a young age.

Q7. Which event are you looking forward to most?

Tarun: I think the event I’m looking forward to the most is Gratia, the dance event. Mr. and Mrs. Perseverantia is another one I’m excited about.

Tia: I’d say I'm looking forward to Panache the most, which is the fashion show event because people don't know this but fashion is the biggest polluter of the environment and it will be fun to see how people in fashion come together to find sustainable solutions.

Laksh: I’m looking forward to Inventio the most, the STEM based innovation event. I'm interested in STEM and I had the idea for this event so I’m really excited to see what people come up with.

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