Delhi Public School RK Puram hosted its 18th Dhruv Rajgarhia Memorial Inter-School English Debate Competition. A total of seventeen schools participated in the event, with three speakers from each school.
Affectionately remembered as a peacemaker and a boy with an unmatched gusto for life, Dhruv Rajgarhia was a keen sportsman and an enthusiastic debater. The event was instated by his grandfather, Late Shri K. L. Rajgarhia, to encourage students to actively indulge in debates and other linguistic activities.
The competition was divided into two parts. The preliminaries consisted of three simultaneous events – classical debate, extempore, and turncoat debate – wherein one participant from each school spoke on the proposed motion, adhering to a time limit of three minutes. This was followed by the second part which had three rounds – the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the finals.
A mosaic of ironies, humour and fighting stereotypes, the classical debate proved to be a very interesting and engaging event.
The extempore was an amalgamation of facts and emotions ranging from capitalism to mental health. The participants in Turncoat debate were challenged to speak both for and against the motion in Block-Tackle format, the turncoat debate judged their creativity while stimulating opinions.
A total of 8 schools qualified for the second part of the event: an Asian Style Parliamentary Debate. The motions put before the teams in the Quarter Finals were “The US abdication of leadership would bring about a detrimental change to world order” and “Rehabilitation should be the only consideration in a criminal sentencing.”
Following meticulous discussions, four teams went on to compete in the Semi-Finals wherein the motions “The House supports the division of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories” and “The State should allow non-citizen migrants to vote in local elections” were presented to the debaters.
The Finals provided a much-awaited, breath-taking conclusion to the event, with two teams debating on the topic “The House believes that in cases of conflict, a nation’s self-interests should outweigh its international commitments to migrants” with intricate eloquence and zeal. All eleven adjudicators presided over the final debate.
The Closing Ceremony commenced with an address by the Presidents of the Debating Society, Sara Singh and Anushka Nijhawan, thanking the participating schools for joining in to commemorate the loving memory of Dhruv Rajgarhia.
In her address, the Principal, Ms Vanita Sehgal, thanked the judges, participants, and the Rajgarhia family. She spoke of how things change, yet sentimentality lingers on; and that being sentimental is not a weakness, but a paramount strength. Highlighting the importance of debating, she emphasized that it teaches us something for life – how to think on our feet – and that if a person is capable of such logical thought, they are miles ahead of where most of us are. She also thanked the members of the Debating Society and the teachers-in-charge for pulling together an admirably wonderful event, and lauded the judges for upholding the legacy and traditions of DPS RK Puram.
The room exuded exuberance as the judges, the Rajgarhia family, and the Principal, Ms Vanita Sehgal, were invited on-stage for the prize distribution.
OVERALL BEST SPEAKER
Sakshi Sharma, Bluebells School International
First Runner Up: Areeb Mansoor, DPS Mathura Road
Second Runner-Up: Dhruvi Agarwal, DPS Mathura Road
The overall winner of the event was Bluebells School International.