I have a few things to say and I am gonna say them here ...
|I was invited by the principal of "St. Xavier's Boys Academy", an ICSC school located near Churchgate, to address first, a body of parents, and next, a group of children on "Basic Health Issues". This invitation was coordinated by Dr. Mustufa Bapai, a friend and well-wisher of mine whose son studies in Std. II of the same school and who happens to be the Vice President of the SXBA PTA.
Such talks carry for doctors a chance to meet (and impress) new parents ... a form of propaganda that is permissible under the Code of Medical Ethics. (Advertising is not.) I went eagerly, carrying with me a copy of my Parenting book and also a CD with some slides in .PPS format on the subject matter of my proposed talk.
Parents who had gathered there were those of children in Stds III and IV. About a hundred-odd parents were there, and I must say that they were very interactive and eager to learn. A talk that was planned for 45 minutes stretched to almost a hour and a half.
Ultimately, the Prinicipal, Mrs. Shirley D'Silva, had to intervene and tell the parents to wind up the discussion as the next session would be for some of the children.
Some mothers did conglomerate around me with their specific queries and it took me another ten minutes to disengage myself from them and go to the Principal's office for snacks and a drink.
Another ten minutes and I was back in the Ground Floor assembly hall to join about 150-odd children of Std. VII and VIII of the school. The talk would now be directed at children - and although it would cover almost the same topics, it would have to be "fun" for them to join in, and not an exercise that would "switch-off" their learning cycle. I plowed on and successfully managed to convey about eight or ten messages based on the themes of Hygiene, Safety and Nutrition. The children enjoyed it as much as the attending teachers and myself.
At the end, I was feted with a few mementos and was escorted to the destination of my choice by Dr. Bapai, who thanked me for participating in this mini-seminar.