KOCHI: Many would still chicken out when it comes to public speaking. And for a few others, taking to stage happens only after long practice sessions. But, for 10-year-old Ashok Thomas, it is a cake walk.
A student of Kochi-based Global Public School, Ashok has done public speaking in around 60 stages. When he talks, he does it so fluently that he leaves his audience spellbound with his knowledge on the topic.
Ashok says, “When I give speeches I don’t like to look and read. When I am given some specific topic, I usually research on the internet. I use quotes in between and then relate it to the subject.” Language is not a barrier as he handles seven languages - French, German, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, English and Malayalam - with ease. He has learnt all these through internet and reading. Ashok says: “I have a special interest in general knowledge and I browse a lot on the internet to get more information on various subjects. Now I am learning French in my school.”
Having travelled to different places across the state, Ashok is well versed in all subjects. “When I visit different places, I learn about the history associated with that place and then link it with the subject of my speech.”He has conducted awareness classes for teenagers of Nehru Yuva Kendra Ernakulam as well as for parents in Assisi Vidhya Nikethan Chembumukku in 2016. In Chavakkad, he conducted a personality development programme for children.
Ashok is encouraged by his parents Joseph Thomas and Vigi Joseph. “ It was on a Children’s Day that he presented his first speech when he was just three. The venue was Children’s Park where there was some cultural programme going on. He said that he wanted to deliver a speech. The Collector who was present allowed him and he spoke fluently,” said Vigi.
For his expertise in public speaking, he has won many titles, including the third place at CBSE state Kalotsav. He came first in 2017 for the CBSE Sahodaya Kalotsav. Besides public speaking, he also writes short stories and poems.