THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was a big surprise for the teachers when ‘Kathaprasangam’, a dying art in their vocabulary, was taken up with much enthusiasm by the students. The teachers under the South Urban Resource Centre (URC) of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) who attempted to create a space for the artform among students have now taken it up as a mission. They are all set to bring out a book by including the Kathaprasangam scripted and performed by 12 students under the URC.
It had all started out as a small camp last academic year, where the URC tried to pass over the essence of the artform to the students. It was a success and this year, they held a four-day camp by including more children. This time, the students were given training in scripting the Kathaprasangam too. Around 50 students from the 75 schools under the URC participated in the camp.
The first Kathaprasangam was scripted out of the Malayalam textbook of class VII, wherein an interview with sportsperson P T Usha was converted into a Kathaprasangam mode. The students were then given training to perform it on stage. It was given the title ‘Manikyam.’ Teacher in Kalady Government High School K Swaminathan helped out the students with the script.
Malayinkeezh K P Surendran, a retired music teacher from Vellanad Government VHSS, gave the appropriate music for the script. Poet Thirumala Sivankutty, Kathaprasangam artist Gopika Manacaud and Swaminathan helped the students with the presentation. This was later documented by the teachers. Muttathara PSM UP School student B Vishnupriya and Abhirami G S, a student of Karamana Girls High School, presented the Kathaprasangam.
‘’It was a wonder that the students responded so positively to the effort. That is why we are planning to compile the scripts and bring out a book. Also, we are making a CD which might be released by P T Usha herself,’’ said Swaminathan.