Schools are the best places to inspire young minds, and reaching our heritage to schools is a key part of our movement. While thousands of our events (lec-dems, workshops, film screenings) expose children to our heritage, we also want to create platforms for motivated students to get deeper and more transformational experiences. The National School Intensive is a week-long annual event of SPIC MACAY held exclusively for school-children. Students are given a remarkable opportunity to see and learn from various maestros and renowned artistic geniuses, an experience that is both intense and inspiring. They are also provided more than a peek into India’s rich cultural tapestry with concerts, workshops, talks, cinema classics and yog sessions. Around 200-400 children (accompanied by teachers) from schools around the country gather at a host institution (usually a school) for this week long gurukul.
Here's how a typical day at an NSI goes. Everyone gets up at for three hours of Naad Yog and Hath Yog. After nourishing the soul, their bodies are nourished by a scrumptious holistic breakfast. Workshops of music, dance, crafts and arts run for a full three hours every morning; with each guru imparting a unique experience to their students. The afternoon has a talk or folk performance, followed by screening of cinema classics. After a quick dinner, everyone assembles at the main hall for two performances by globally-acclaimed artists, the masters in their field. Everyone walks out of the hall a few inches above ground, and after some night snacks they head in for a well-deserved rest.
On the second-last day, the students of each intensive put up a short performance in front of the entire group, to show what they have learnt in the ~15 hours with the gurus. The highlight of the day is an overnight concert, where 5-6 artistes perform consecutively through the night - an experience which is quite rare nowadays. On the last day the students are taken on a heritage walk to nearby places of historical significance, after which they say their goodbyes and leave for their hometowns, taking home fond memories and valuable lessons.