21st February 2020 — Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February saw over 250 pupils from year 8 to year 13 at Bancroft’s School, Woodford Green take part in the annual Taal event. Taal means “beat of life” and with its fusion of dancing, music and acting, Taal is more than just another School production: it brings a touch of Bollywood colour and glamour to Bancroft’s. Over 19 years it has grown to become an integral and much anticipated fixture in the School calendar as well as an important part of the School’s cultural life. The event is totally pupil driven with members of the Bancroft’s Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim Society (HSBM Society) writing, choreographing and directing the event. The students assume full responsibility for everything, from finding sponsorship from local businesses to sourcing costumes.
Led by an elected pupils committee, the cast worked incredibly hard to produce this year’s Taal. Anjali Tohani, one of the Presidents of Taal and one of the choreographers, said, “For me Taal has been the most amazing journey. I don’t think we realised how many challenges we would face but these challenges made it all even more rewarding on the final night. The Taal community truly became a second family to me and I am so honoured I had the chance to be part of the amazing team we became.”
Taal is a major fundraiser for charities and this year it supported three charities which had been chosen by the pupils for personal reasons: The Anderson School for Autism in Chigwell, Dementia UK and Veerayatan in India. Veerayatan has transformed the lives of thousands of underprivileged children and has also supported rehabilitation and emergency relief programmes in the wake of natural calamities. Closer to home, the Anderson School seeks to give young people with autism the best possible opportunities for their future. This year Taal raised an incredible £25,000 to support these three very worthwhile causes. Taal Treasurer, year 13 pupil Anya Shah, said “There were definitely challenges but it was all worth it and we are delighted that our chosen charities are able to benefit from the money we raised.”
The Saturday night’s performance, which was preceded by an Indian meal prepared by the Bancroft’s catering team, saw Councillor Zulfiqar Hussain, Mayor of Redbridge in attendance who enthused about the evening. Bancroft’s Head, Mr Simon Marshall, thanked the members for the U6 Taal Committee who have worked so hard on this year’s production which he described as “a fantastic celebration.”