On 18th November, two of my friends, Anuraag Chowdhury, Sreeja Ray and myself went to a debating competition, namely” Indian Schools Debating Society”. It continued for three days. On the first day, that is, on 18th November, there was a workshop for all the debaters who took part in the competition and on the second day, the competition took place. On the third day, there was another workshop for top speakers.
So, on 19th November, we attended the workshop. Our English teacher had also arrived there. It took place in the school, in Salt Lake, named Kanoria Gangabux Bhavan’s Vidyamandir. An ex-debater, who represented Team India in the “World Schools Debating Championship”, taught us about the rules and regulations about this debate competition and it was so different from those which we had in schools. We asked several questions to him and clarified our doubts. It was a whole new experience for us. We got to interact with other students coming from different schools coming around Kolkata. These included Apeejay Salt Lake, Apeejay Park Street, Kendriya Vidyalaya Ballyganj, St. James, Army Public School and many more. We got to know about them and also learnt from them several things. The host school also provided with a food packet every day. Then after a discussion, we did a bit of debate practice with other schools to enhance our skills. We also got to know about our topics and motion and also about our opposition school.
On the next day, that is, on 19nd November, the competition took place. We all were prepared with our topics and so were the other participants. We also were quite tensed. I had a talk with the head girl of the host school. She encouraged me and wished me good luck. We arrived at the school and discussed about the topics within ourselves. Our English teacher also helped a quite lot in this. Then, we had our competition. In the first round, our topic was “This house would institute quotas for women in national parliaments” and our team was in proposition. There were two judges and every participant has to speak for five minutes. We tried our level best. Then came the second round and the topic was “This house believes that developing countries should place limits on rural to urban migration”. We were in opposition. The second round was much better as compared to the first one. We got to know more about this debate and learned from our mistakes from the first round. We were quite satisfied with our performance in the second round. The topic given to us for the third round was “This house would forcibly remove obese children from the custody of their parents and place them in fat camps.” We discussed within ourselves about the topic and started our preparation. It was a different feeling for us as we had never done this kind of debating before. The third round was mainly based on cooperation, teamwork and knowledge. It gave us a new sense of debating. Then after our preparation time was over, which consisted of one hour, the third round began. This round was better than the second one. With each round we got better. Then after the third round the competition came to an end. We were told that the results would be intimated through email. From this competition, we learnt a great deal about the actual debating procedure. We learnt about new ways and got new experiences. This competition also inculcated the values of teamwork and cooperation and more importantly it enhanced our knowledge in various topics. I consider myself to be very lucky to have been able to participate in such a debating tournament.