I have always looked at children participating in reality shows with a bit of awe. The talented preteens show immense physical and mental strength at a very tender age! Surely, it must be quite difficult to stand on a national platform, perform in front of hundreds of people, and handle their emotions with grace as the cameras pan over you.
Once these children get off the stage, they still have to manage their schoolwork. While many of these kids try hard to juggle their studies and their passion, there are some schools who are strictly against this claiming that the emotional turmoil that kids go through in these shows is unhealthy for them, and their long shoot schedules, possibly in a different city or state, hampers their school attendance as well.
Shekinah Mukhiya, an 11-year-old singer, found herself in a similar situation. The incredibly talented girl from Dehradun had participated in “The Voice India Kids” and reached the finals.
When the season of the show finished, she returned to her school, to continue her studies.
However, the school refused to promote her from Class VI to VII since her attendance had drastically fallen while she performed in Mumbai.
Her father, Vikas Mukhiya is not very comfortable mentioning the name of the school and already feels guilty that it came up in media. “I am sure they had their own rules and principles which is why they denied promotion to Shekinah,” he told The Better India. “I don’t want to tarnish their name, because we do not have anything against them,” he added.
However, he does mention that he was disappointed with their unwillingness to budge, and decided to approach the Col Brown Cambridge School. His only concern—the new school, is an all-boys residential school!
Indu Bala Singh, the proctor, considered Shekinah’s application since she is incredibly talented and he understood her unique situation.
Speaking to the Times of India, she said, “At our school, a lot of attention is paid to hobbies and interests. It is not only about academics. If children are allowed to follow their passion, they turn out to be better, wholesome individuals.”
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Standing true to this ideology, the school granted Shekinah a seat in Class VII! She will now be the only girl not only in her class but the entire school!
Indu herself has studied in this school in the 1950s. Speaking about her experience, she said, “My classmates were very courteous to me. I never felt like I was different from them. I’m sure Shekinah will also have a memorable time here. ”
Confident that she will take hardly any time to adjust to her new surroundings, Shekinah is happy to be around people to recognise and appreciate her talents. “I am happy,” she told TOI, adding that “I want to be a singer and I also want to complete my studies on time.”
Shekinah spoke to TBI about her upcoming first day of school, “I haven’t bought my books and bag yet, but I’ll go shopping soon. I might miss my friends from the earlier school, but I’m very excited about the new school too,” she said.
Shekinah’s new school is taking steps to ensure that she settles in well because this is not just a skip from one school to another—it is an entirely new environment. Since Shekinah will be the only girl studying in an all-boys school, she will have access to the staff washrooms. She will also be living with her parents on campus, instead of the school dorm, as they are both teachers at the school.
Three other girls have studied in this all-boys school. In the 1940s, a daughter of a staffer was given admission, and in the 1950s, Indu Bala Singh and her sister, Charu Bala Singh —the daughters of the owner of the school—were allowed to study in the school.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)