THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan has come up with a unique space to encourage and support children to showcase their talents. Dubbed the ‘local talent centres’, the initiative is meant to help and support children who are from financially poor backgrounds. Around 36 centres have already been set up this month, says Sreekumaran, district project officer, SSA. “These talent centres are meant for children belonging to financially poor families. They include children from coastal areas, tribal colonies, scheduled castes and other minority groups. We are hoping to come up with more centres, atleast one each in the 73 different panchayats of the district,” Sreekumaran said.
The facility can be used by students after school hours and even on Saturdays. “It is just a small space like a library or a similar building. The children will be aided by a special trainer. It will be unlike a tution centre or school environment, as the volunteer is there to guide and support the children. Moreover, it is not just an academic venture.
There may be students who are good at extracurricular and creative activities like singing.” Sreekumaran says the reason why SSA decided to take up the initiative is because they realised there were bright students coming from financially poor backgrounds. At home, there might not be anyone to give them the support, encouragement or guidance they require,” he said. SSA also celebrated Onam in a unique manner, distributing Onam kits and clothes to families of a few differently-abled children. “The volunteers themselves chipped in money for the initiative,” Sreekumaran added.
The government organisation has also come up with another initiative to help such children. “There are many differently-abled students who have been enrolled in school but are not able to attend regularly. We have identified around 216 children. Every Tuesday, our volunteers go to their houses and spend time with them,” he said.