The class of 2018 was delighted to present to the school the drama of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, after more than two months of hard work. As a class, we learnt not only the antiques of the stage but also got to know each other better; managing to work through many differences and coming to enjoy the company of many different people, fighting towards the same goal in hope to give a lovely show.
It was interesting trying to bring out the gruesomeness of the French Revolution and yet also the elegance of the High Classed society; To convey desperate times and at the same time convey reunion. It was also exciting watching sleepy uninterested people get into their various characters; for example, original awkwardness between Josh Harri and Lauren McCabe transformed into love between the comical Sir Percy Blakeney and the lovely Marguerite; Indifferent friends (Perry, Aakash, Josh D, Sunita, Sahil, Judah) to passionate heros of the league of the Scarlet Pimpernel; Humorous people (Peter, Yanek, Jacob) to evil, cruel and heartless villains. Discovering how to sword fight, change accents and dance also contributed to the fun.
Each Individual of the class was essential to every second of the drama so we had to learn to trust our peers utterly to do what they had to do and that is exactly what they all did. It was a very memorable time and one that we are thankful to have experienced.
I am very pleased to be able to announce the Principal Designate, from July 2018, Mr Philip Reynolds. He will be familiar to many of you as he, and his family, were previously at Hebron, 2009-12. At that time, Phil taught Maths and Physics, was Head of Middle School, and he and his wife Clare were dorm parents for the Std 10 & 11 boys. Since leaving Hebron, Phil has been a Housemas-ter in Gordonstoun School in Scot-land. Clare taught French while at Hebron. Phil and Clare will be re-turning with their five children. We, the Oldcorn family, will sadly be leaving at the end of this aca-demic year, after ten amazing years at Hebron.
The school hosted the District level Hockey Tournament this term. The competition saw 7 girls schools compete in the 3 categories of competition that was held over 3 days with a total of 21 matches. Though Lawrence School dominated the tournament Hebron Girls were in close competition and fought well. In the boys tournament from a competition between 13 schools that saw a total of 53 matches at 3 different venues, Hebron secured the winner position in the Under 19 category for the third year in running.
The AS and A2 business classes went on the biannual field trip to Chennai. While we were there we visited three different businesses – Ford India Limited, Mahindra World City and ESAF Microfinance.
With input from Nathaniel, Stephen, Avantika, and Synchar
Ford India entered the Indian automotive market in 1995 as ‘Mahindra Ford India Limited’ as a 50-50 joint venture. In 1998 the company was renamed as ‘Ford India Private limited’ as a result of Ford’s complete ownership. Presently, the firm produces 5 models, which are the Mustang; Endeavor; Eco sport; Aspire and Figo.
Ford India limits their production to two plants- One in Chennai and the other one in Sanand, where the sedans are manufactured, whilst the SUV’s in Chennai. The Chennai plant works at an automation rate of approximately 35%, whereas, the plant at Sanand operates at an automation rate of 95%, producing 200,000 engines annually. Presently, Ford has 376 sales and service outlets in 209 cities across India. 40% of Ford India’s engine production and 25% of its car production is exported. These exports are delivered to 35 countries. Some of them include: Mexico, Kenya, South Africa and the UAE.
Additionally, Ford India Limited is obligated to share at least 2% of its profits towards CSR. The CSR activities are focused on four key areas: Road safety; education; healthcare and the environment. Ford uses CSR as a way of promotion, through their schools and through their free driving classes provided to mostly college students as a way of warming them up to the company. Ford India plans to target the mass population of this market, tier 2 and tier 3 through the production occurring at both plants. However, on a more critical view of the company, Ford has now brought in their ‘Mustang’ as a way of targeting the Indian niche automobile market.
“Transforming urban landscapes by creating sustainable communities” is Mahindra’s motto when it comes to its World Cities. MWC Chennai has become a landmark on India’s Business map and hosts global corporate giants BMW, Capgemini, Dorma, Renault Nissan and Holiday Inn Express amongst 60 other. Its initial vision was not to become India’s first operational Special Economic Zone (SEZ.) The land was purchased in 1996 for an auto ancillary park in joint venture with the Ford Motor Company – the joint venture ended in 1998, and born from the break up was the Mahindra World City. The SEZ employs around 38,000 people, and has the residential capacity for 8,000 families. MWC’S sustainable initiatives are its most exciting components. Rain water harvesting and storm water drainage are used to improve the groundwater table. The abundant foliage is used to prevent the heat island effect, and is maintained through greywater alone. The City has established its own on-site common sewage treatment plant, to avoid the waste water streaming into any one of its seven water bodies. The water after treatment is used for toilet-flushing around the city. The city has pioneered Tamil Nadu’s first off-the-grid solar power plant at its commercial centre. A Bio-CNG plant that converts 8 tonnes of food and kitchen waste generated by the city into raw biogas to power street lights and buses, is arguably its most impressive feature. The residue of the waste is used as an organic fertilizer for farmers to enhance soil fertility.
Upon arrival, we boarded one of the local Bio-fuel buses for a tour of the city. We were introduced to the Paranur Railway Station – the first of its kind to be built in Public-Private Partnership. We had the chance to see the Mahindra World School, the multispecialty hospital, the commercial centre ironically named ‘The Canopy’ and its prime residential property named the ‘Aqualily.’ The Mahindra World School drove the community activities, and we were interested to know that a day later the Mindquiz was to be held, with an overwhelming 800 people participating. We got off the bus at the Bio-CNG plant, where the leading project managers explained to us the science behind the accomplishment, and we saw for ourselves the fertilizer that was produced and distributed to the neighbouring villages. We were able to see the villages, and the development they have undergone since MWC grew its roots – Mahindra actively encourages the villagers to sell their inherited land to developers and reap the profits for a higher standard of living. At the Sports and Leisure Club, we were served a delicious, balanced lunch that sparked our interest on its membership fees. Post-lunch we gathered in a conference room for Powerpoint presentations on the sustainable initiatives undertaken, and the company’s CSR.
The true business value of the city lies in its residential property – the 38,000 workers already provide a market for the convenient location of the property. The 1,000 acres of forest and seven water bodies provide a temperature lower than that of Chennai city. Besides saving time and money on commuting to work, there is also an appeal in ‘reverse commuting’ – having the luxury of entering Chennai city when the rush hour creates an exodus in the opposite direction. However, the apartments themselves could have mirrored the sustainability of the rest of the city, instead, they are strikingly ordinary. Mahindra could have pursued an idea of ZED homes – houses with low carbon emissions, sun-baked bocks, in-built renewable energy sources and a 70% drop in energy use – that grant higher profit margins. At the moment, the apartments suggest the sustainability plans of the city to be ‘half-baked’. While Mahindra has allowed for many villagers to increase their income through selling their land to developers, and is credited with hiring an agency to negotiate fair prices, the loss of heritage and status in selling is beyond compensation. Critics question the forgone tax revenues, the acquisition of vast amounts of farmland for development in a country where over 60% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Critics also argue that the model for development largely favours the private sector, and takes away the constitutional right of a rural majority to participate in the planning of their regions. However, Mahindra can be credited with providing India the solution to rapid urbanisation, and is in line with Modi’s vision for 100 Smart Cities – thereby, adding to its political credentials. That is not to say that the Chennai World City is a city per se, but this can be explained by the ‘city’s’ relative youth.
The Mahindra World City is not what it could be, but its sustainable initiatives are commendable when one considers that they are being executed in only a precious few other places in India.
ESAF was established in 1992 as a response to the social and economic needs of the people. ESAF stands for sustainable holistic transformation of the poor and the marginalized for a just and fair society. Today they have become a bank.
We visited the weavers at Kanchipuram and understood how they take small loans and build their business. They take loans in small groups called Sangam and each member has accountability to the other, so that everyone pays the loan back.
The weaver have improved their living conditions and are able to sen the children to school and earn a decent livelihood.
We are currently gearing up for Parents’ Week. All those who visit will receive a warm welcome, and I hope you will enjoy your time here at Hebron. Read all about the goings on in Hebron this Term in this edition of the Parents’ Newsletter.
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