UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Monday, November 28, 2011

Head of College's message

It has been an honour to be part of “MUWCI’s” journey over the past few years.  As with all earthly utopias, this place has its quirks and tensions, its odd mix of magical ideal and murky reality. But being here has engaged my imagination and allowed me to find delight in the things that really count. Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love, wrote the 13th century mystic poet, Rumi. I have felt the quiet power of that pull in my time here. 


Thanks to everyone for filling out the short survey on the newsletter last month. We had a total of 252 responses, the largest group being our parents and alumni (63 and 99 respectively). Nice to know that we also shared our news with 11 National Committee readers, 27 UWC alumni other than our own, 9 friends and 8 other UWC students. Our community is large and we appreciate you all! The newsletter had a total of 1360 hits last month including 4 from Luxembourg, 14 from the Netherlands and 3 from China.

This month, in order to help us provide a newsletter tailor made to suit your requirements, we are requesting you once again to fill out a short survey which you can access here

We look forward to compiling your answers and sharing them with you through our January newsletter.

Have a fabulous Christmas and a healthy, happy and peaceful  new year.

Penny Fidler
Head of External Relations / Webmaster

Oasis Game

The month of October had a not-so-ordinary agenda for this hilly home of ours. The Triveni office had  created space for different people from both  the ”outside” world” as well as from the college to share with us ideas and / or initiatives through workshops. One of the workshops -- facilitated by the wonderfully spirited Azeer, Rachana, Sumi, Sumeet and Santosh -- was about a game, or movement, or philosophy, or simply something impossible to label, referred to as the Oasis Game. Now you may ask  “why Oasis?”  Well, because what this term advocates is a somewhat paradisiac refugee for the exhausted traveller, where she / he can find water in abundance in the middle of the dry desert.

The Travelling Archive

During the week of 21 – 25 November, UWC Mahindra College was extremely privileged to host Moushumi Bhowmik, parent of Aranyo Arjaan Class of 2008, with musicians Satyaki and Robi, who came to give workshops and also perform at the local Khubavali temple.

Project Week

Every November, students and faculty set off on Community Interaction Project Weeks across India. During this week they experience the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs); working with and learning from professional organizations that engage with various facets of ‘development’ in India. Students have a ands-on opportunity to learn about India in greater depth, hone skills for their weekly CE activities and, ultimately, understand how complex the attainment of the UWC ideals is. The student presentations that accompany this newsletter are snap shots of their experiences this year. For more information about the organizations we visited please click here

Nandita Dinesh
Head of Triveni department

Project Week - CHiRAG


Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHiRAG) is a non-profit grassroots development organisation working with rural communities in the Central Himalayan region of India. Their main office is located in the village of Sitla in the state of Uttaranchal. CHiRAG is also involved with issues of social empowerment and community mobilization, income generation and training, and communication that it considers critical to its integrated development strategy. Areas of intervention include preparatory schools or balwaris, primary school support programmes with a focus on environmental education, village libraries, science laboratories, centres for adolescent girl empowerment, preventive and curative health programmes, and a local self-governance programme.

During the week students will be taken to the health centres, introduced to the adolescent girls programme, and work in the horticulture farm. They will also visit the weaving and oil extraction unit and have an opportunity to attend a village meeting. Please check the following websites for further information:


Click here to see this year's students' CHiRAG presentation

Project Week - Eklavya

On this project, based in the small town of Hoshangabad on the scenic Narmada River, questions will be raised concerning the purpose and reality of school education in India. In particular, we will ask: What role can education play in social and political transformation? What difference does scientific literacy make? What is the value of reading? In whose interest is education? Evidence and answers will be sought through activities with children and teachers. We will be guests of Eklavya, an NGO that has been developing innovative teaching programmes, writing and publishing children's textbooks, storybooks, magazines and books on science and education, as well as training teachers, teaching students, making educational toys and science kits, and assisting schools in planning and development. The goal will be for students to learn something about the people of India, their educational needs, and the politics of poverty. Besides visiting a local government school, students will have the opportunity to help plan and conduct a Bal Mela in which rural children gather to do science experiments and art activities. Students will also be expected to either write or illustrate some material that will be considered for publication in one of Eklavya's magazines.

Click here to see the students' Eklavya presentation

Project Week - APSA


The Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA) is a child-centred, rights-based, community development organization founded in 1981 and located in Bangalore. APSA works at two levels: at the grassroots level where the focus is on empowerment of the poor; and at the macro level of the state and the country through advocacy and policy planning. This two-pronged approach is reflected in the planning and implementation of all of APSA's projects.

Click here to see the students' APSA presentation

Project Week - Sangama


Sangama is a human rights organization for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference. Sexual minorities include, but are not limited to, hijras, kothis, jogappas, lesbians, bisexuals, homosexuals, and transsexuals. Sangama aims to help these people live with self-acceptance, self-respect and dignity. They emphasize the concerns of sexual minorities from poor and non-English speaking backgrounds and sex workers, who otherwise have little or no access to information and resources. Sangama aims to bring sexuality, sexual preference and gender identity into the realm of public discourse and link it to human rights development and other social movements. Sangama campaigns for changes in the existing laws which discriminate against sexual minorities, including sex workers and people living with HIV / AIDS. They work with family members, friends, co-workers and partners.

While at Sangama, students will have interactive field visits, watch documentaries, hear personal experiences from the community, take part in sessions on lesbian issues, and participate in workshops on human rights and sexuality. Students may also participate in any ongoing campaign that may be current during our time with them.

Click here to view a selection of photos from the Sangama trip.

There is more in us than we think, but how do we know and how can we find out?

Relating five phases or aspects of reflective thought, proposed in 1933 by John Dewey with our bouldering expedition, it is possible to document ways in which we learnt and how we find out that there might be more in us than we first thought.

First of all we need experience, that of course was the easy part!. All we had to do was take a short (10 hour) bus journey into Hospet and then hop into Hampi, cross the river and walk into the mass of pinkish granite boulders, formed an estimated 2300 million years ago.

Kalamezuthu pattu

Pictorial designs are the inheritance of humanity from ancient times. All over the world, they first appeared on floors and walls of human dwellings. In India they have existed as part of ritualistic life in Hindu households since time immemorial.

Karanjit - India Class of 2012

Favourite quote: "If you aren't busy being born, then you are busy dying.- Bob Dylan"

Sieru – Ethiopia Class of 1999 - The Pioneers

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Theresa

Sieru visited the college in October 2011 for the first time since he graduated in 1999 as he had been unable to attend his 10-year reunion held on campus in August 2009. When his first-year, Sasha Sud, announced his wedding plans in New Delhi, this was the catalyst that pushed him to finalize his long awaited return to India after 12 years.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Head of College's message

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” 

Arundhati Roy's words from "The God of Small Things" sums up the deep expectation which underpins the world's great Festivals of Light (Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas).  With the festival's colours and sounds still hanging in the Indian air its easy to recall the inspiring mythology of Diwali and its story of the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness.

Chairman's message

On behalf of the Board of Governors of UWC Mahindra College (MUWCI), I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Pelham Lindfield Roberts as the next Head of College with effect from 15 December 2011. Mr Pelham Lindfield Robert’s appointment is the culmination of a thoroughly professional and holistic search process for which I compliment the Search Committee.


A very big thanks to Mr Tarang Jain who generously donated funds to provide one scholarship for a new student and an elliptical trainer for our state of the art gym, located in the social centre. Mr Jain is a current parent of first year student Dhruv.

Thanks also to our Director of College Studies, Dr Cyrus Vakil, who made a donation to our Akshara project this month.

UWC Mahindra College thanks all its donors for their valuable contributions in helping to provide additional scholarships and facilities. Your help is valuable and appreciated!

DoS meeting Hong Kong

Parallel to the College Heads’ meeting, Directors of Studies from different UWCs met at LPC Hong Kong in the week of Oct 17. All UWCs with the exception of Pearson, Adriatic, Maastricht and Bosnia were represented. Unlike Heads’ meetings, which take place at least twice a year, this was only the second time that UWC DoS’s were meeting (the previous one being 9 years ago)!

Outdoor education

The outdoors has an intrinsic connection within the UWC movement, back in 1962 a rule existed in our sister college Atlantic; the rule stated that not less than two afternoons weekly have to be spent out of doors for health reasons. (Röhrs & Tunstall-Behrens, 1970, p.109).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Focus on Triveni

In the Triveni Team’s attempt to revamp the Triveni system this year, we have created a blog. The main reason for this is to overcome the perpetual fear that all students have about the IB requirement to ‘reflect’ on CAS.

The vagueness surrounding the term ‘reflection’ has created an air of discomfort among the student body and the Triveni team has taken on the task of addressing this by setting up concrete monthly reflection goals.


MUWCI.tv was started last school year by the college Film Club in order to create and share videos with a greater audience.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yerang - South Korea Class of 2012

Favourite quote: "When you love you should not say, God is in my heart, but rather, I am in the heart of God." Khalil Gibran

Hobbies: Playing piano and flute and listening to music, drawing, making jewelry, socializing with my friends

Languages: Korean & English, learning French

Why did you choose UWC Mahindra College: To experience diversity and get to know people from different places, to become independent both academically and in my life. I thought I was independent when I came here but being here was a reality check for me. I also like the location of the college and I really wanted to be in the countryside and I have learned so many things from this environment. I am now more relaxed and find it so different from life in the city.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Johanna - Sweden Class of 2008

When Johanna graduated in 2008 she decided to take a GAP year to detach herself from her MUWCI experience and to be able to get a fresh outlook on her life and reassess her opinions on things. She began the year by travelling to Amritsar, to visit the Golden Temple, to Nepal to see where the Buddha was born, and then to Kashmir, which was she remembers as “a breathtaking experience”. Returning to Sweden to work for a few months to finance the latter part of the year, she then went to work in Nicaragua in an orphanage for babies to 8 year olds for 6 months. She was put in charge of the music department and taught English to the pre-school children. It was inevitable that she learn Spanish as nobody spoke English so she was happy to see her language skills developing over the 6 months, to the point where she was able to help the 8 year olds with their homework. Parenting was another important skill she learnt, along with detachment in not interfering with the different ways of child rearing that she knew from back home. It was a self-sustainable orphanage that functioned as a family unit; the children were not adopted out and if they were able, had their university or vocational training expenses paid for by the organization. For further information www.mph.org.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Head of College's message

The first few weeks of term have been a whirlwind of activity for students and faculty alike!  With 114 new students on campus we have recorded a record total of 223. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


The Mahindra College community has been deeply saddened to receive news of three recent tragedies, the deaths of Sylvia Gift Nabukeera (Class of 2006). Einat Tabori (Class of 2001) and Pema Norbu (Class of 2008);

New website

UWC Mahindra College is pleased to announce the launch of their new website:


which is an attempt to present UWC Mahindra College within the framework of the UWC organisation as a whole.

Each UWC constituent has an equal role to play in helping to present UWC as a coherent, effective organisation – one which is easy for people to identify and engage with. An indicator document, a follow up on the UWC style guide, has been distributed to all those working in areas of communication to help enforce these documents and the branding statement in general.

We hope you like and enjoy it. If you have any comments or suggestions please mail them to pfidler@muwci.net

Please note there will be no newsletter at the end of September. The next newsletter will be sent to you at the end of October.

Penny Fidler
Head of External Relations / Webmaster

Welcome to new faculty

UWC Mahindra College welcomes its new faculty members who join us from the US, Canada, Spain , France & India. Nandita Dinesh, an alumna of Mahindra College, will head the Triveni office, Ainhoa Orensanz will teach Spanish, Arvin Dang will teach Economics, Douglas Amwine English, Dr Oscar Avila-Akerberg Biology and Alix Petter French & she will also help out in the Triveni office.

Independence Day

UWC Mahindra College celebrated a wet Independence Day on 15 August 2011. The flag was hoisted by Dr Long who gave a short congratulatory speech which was translated into Marathi by the Head of Administration Ramesh Devmane. Sweets were distributed by Susan Long to the courageous few who braved the weather and the early Monday morning call to attend the celebration.

Student Profile

Yaniv Israel Class of 2012

Favourite quote: "Eat everything on your plate." my grandmother

Alumni Profile

Beth Wales Class of 2004

Summer programmes

MEZA was a 2 week summer program that explored these questions: What is culture? What does it mean to interact 'responsibly' with a community outside of your own? How does one culture influence another? 

Gomukh project

UWC Mahindra College is located high in the Western Ghats, an area of incredible biodiversity and culture. The valleys surrounding the college are highly cultivated, mostly for cash crops and rely on water flowing from the Mulshi dam for irrigation during the dry season. The social, economic and environmental problems facing the rural sector in India are immense but in a country that is changing so rapidly the potential for sustainable development is equally great.

You know you're in MUWCI when

You know you are in MUWCI when:

The Trial of Socrates

After an intense half-hour trial, the jury found Socrates guilty and condemned him to death. The accusers dragged up many obscure details from the Republic and used them to portray Socrates' interests as perverted. The defenders did an admiral job of defending his philosophy, but the jury deemed it as insufficient.

Liam Goodacre
Faculty Philosophy

Li Doshi swimming pool

Ever wonder who or what is Li Doshi? The Li Doshi swimming pool at Mahindra College was inaugurated by ace swimmer Nafisa Ali which was made possible through an endowment offered to the college by Mr Kwok Li, a graduate of UWC Pearson College in Canada.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Head of College's message

The College year came to an end yesterday in the joy and celebration of Graduation.  Like all transitions in life Graduation brings mixed emotions – the excitement of new opportunity and the sadness of farewell.  Graduation often feels like a conclusion – but it is also a staging post of a much longer journey.

Graduation Norwegian style

Dear Students,

You have probably seen Marius H and I walk around in our very nationalist red trousers?

The Trial of Socrates

As the climax of their epic reading of Plato's Republic, the Philosophy first years will be putting Socrates on trial. Accusations include: blaspheming against the state, blaspheming against the gods, and trying to instate himself as king. Badrul will play Socrates--G block will accuse and A block will defend him. We need a jury to decide whether he is innocent or guilty! Please come along to SPACE at 1.30 to listen to the trial and cast your vote. It will last an hour.

How did it end... more to come.

Liam Goodacre

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Head of College's message

For many generations of students here, the month of May on campus is like a magnesium flare – it burns fast and furious! 

Adding UWC flesh to the IB skeleton

It is increasingly difficult to maintain that all or most subject combinations within the IB necessarily lead to the fulfillment of the UWC mission.  While IB courses were supplemented, at Mahindra College, by additional courses and evening seminars this had been on an ad hoc basis. 

An in-principle decision was recently made by the colleges Head of Departments and then ratified by the faculty body to substitute the IB 7th subject option with a choice of evening courses on topics of broader UWC significance. These “UWC Courses” will be team-taught, be relevant to the furthering of the UWC mission, and be a mix (in different proportions) of theory and practice.

INCredible weekend, 2011

One hundred and twenty interviews over 3 days. The numbers were enough to make the then-approaching INC weekend seem just as exciting and hectic as it turned out to be. Over the weekend, Mahindra College saw many new faces; some wore hassled expressions on their faces while others seemed to love the place too much to be bothered by the challenges it was going to throw at them. In any case, while these zero years gathered to hear the Headmaster introduce them to the community, we, the student body, bustled around with lists and timetables, ready to take charge of the activities for the weekend.

Going bald for a cause

On 31 March 2011, students from Mahindra  College shaved their heads to raise awareness for cancer and HIV / AIDS. The event was a huge success as many students either shaved their heads or donated their hair, while many others were there to support those who were brave enough to lose it all.

Easter in the Czech Republic

So our main celebration starts on Monday, which is the only day off school and work. But the preparation for it starts days before - girls are starting to dye eggs or bake a cake in the shape of a lamb. It is traditional to use red ribbons, so we put them around the lamb's neck or anywhere.


Mahindra College offers its students voluntary participation in various events taking place locally. One of these is Open Space, a creative platform for students and citizens to explore, understand and initiate social change. It is a forum where people can express opinions and ideas of interest, read poetry, screen films, host a discussion group, or build a campaign. OS is also the place to meet and interact with (online and in person) writers, filmmakers, artists, activists and changemakers intrepid enough to believe that we can build a more equitable, sustainable world.


As we welcome our alumni to the newsletter readership, thanks to you all for being so responsive in getting lost or incorrect email IDs to us. We will be adding these to our group mailing lists in order for you to receive the newsletter on a monthly basis. If you know of anyone who did not receive the link please let us know.

Going bald for a good cause - Part 2

I just wanted to thank all of you for your kind and generous donations which have finally (mostly) been collected. So far we have raised a staggering amount of around Rs 20,000. This has been the result of an amazing effort so thank you all once again.


A record 1898 people viewed the newsletter from 4-7 April 2011.
The newsletter had 2690 hits last month and over 9000 hits since its conception in September 2010.

Mamma Mia

Like any musical Mahindra Colleges' version of Mamma Mia was presented as an ambitious extravaganza featuring a large cast, complex choreography and an exciting stage setting. This production cut costs a little and set a new benchmark for the idea of economy.  The budget was so low that this reviewer’s check of the receipts shows that there was change from 500 rupees. The costumes for example were a steal as, apparently, was the guitar.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Head of College's message

Amidst the frenzy of a busy term with IB exams looming large on the horizon it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture! What is a UWC education all about and what’s the point of it all anyway?

UWC extranet

How to register

Go to http://extranet.uwc.org/register/   select your member type and fill in your details. 
If you are not registered automatically, your details will be verified by UWC International within two working days (providing we have your details on file).

A Touch of Class

A variety of performances by students of UWC Mahindra College took place at the Mazda Hall in Pune on 23 March 2011.

A unique educational institution in the valley

The Sadhana English School in Kule, about 15 kilometers from the college, is the only Waldorf school in rural India.

Art exhibition - first year students

As a precursor to what may come next year for some IB art students, first year students spent some time with their teacher Nandu, researching and observing the rise of the installation movement which began in the sixties as a political statement against galleries and buyers dictating the future of art.


With winter neatly tucked up in the attic, it's time to come out of our cocoons and enjoy this spring festival.

Every year it is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March and glorifies good harvest and fertility of the land. It is also time for spring harvest. The new crop refills the stores in every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during Holi. This also explains the other names of this celebration - 'Vasant Mahotsava' and 'Kama Mahotsava'.

UWC Week

This year, instead of having many separate cultural evenings, dance shows, and a mostly forgotten UWC Day performance, several groups worked hard to collect our annual cultural events into one intense week of cultural fusion.

Student interaction

A ten-day CAS Project Week for 19 students and two teachers from the International School in Hilversum, The Netherlands, was recently organized by Nandita Deosthale, a former staff  member of Mahindra College.

Community Engagement

At UWC Mahindra College, we started working this year with a local Organic Farming Collective called Gomukh.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Theatre Season 2011

‘Theatre Week’ was initiated by a member of faculty at Mahindra College several years back, and it immediately became a cherished tradition.

More reviews

Clare in the Butterfly Garden   
Bestia seemed a kaleidoscope of familiar stories reborn as a cautionary tale.

Agents of Conformity

“UWC… what is that?” I prodded my dad.

Akshara programme

Mahindra College is a host partner in implementing the Akshara programme. Being a non-profit organization with a goal of imparting top quality education to its own students makes it the logical centre for the programme.

Weekend hike

On Saturday, 19 February a bunch of 10 students were ready for the hike to Tikona fort. Even before the sleeping dust was rubbed out of our eyes we sat in the jeeps driving alongside the magnificent mountains of Mulshi valley.


On Monday, 28 February 2011 all faculty came together to wish goodbye to Louis Kalkumbe, who leaves UWC Mahindra College after 7 years of service as Head of the IT Department. IT, as everyone knows, is a thankless and stressful job! Dr Long thanked Louis for his continual support and good humour in carrying out his duties to ensure 24-hour connectivity for the college, among a long list of other things, and best wishes were extended to him in his future career in Pune.