This year’s edition of ‘Mambazhakalam’, the children’s vacation camp conducted at Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan here, began on Monday with Minister for Culture K C Joseph inaugurating the festivities.
“This year, we have selected 125 students on a first-come-first-served basis, a much higher figure than last year’s 75,” said Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan member secretary Balu Kiriyath. “Next year, we will try and accommodate even more participants.”
In addition to Thiruvananthapuram, the camp is in fact being held in four other places this year - Kozhikode, Karunagappally, Taliparamba and Haripad, he said.
The week-long summer camp, meant to help children take a break from their hectic school-time schedules and “to enjoy their summer vacations without any restrictions”, will see a host of activities for school children, including folk music, graphic designing course, yoga classes, cartoon drawing, drama, debate and film-making.
“The camp aims to allow children the opportunity to explore new avenues of knowledge and at the same enjoy their vacations,” said Joseph, inaugurating the event. There will also be talks by professionals in various fields. DGP P Vijayan, for example, will speak to the children about ‘Police and the people’ on Tuesday, while Gopinath Muthukad will give a session on magic on Wednesday, and M R Thampan, director, Kerala Bhasha Institute, will talk on the importance of the mother-tongue on Saturday.
In the session ‘Kids meet the kingpin’, the participant students will get up, close and personal with senior leaders.
Tuesday morning would include a visit to meet Culture Minister K C Joseph at Kowdiar House, the Minister’s official residence, while on Friday the students would be issued special passes to pay a visit to Governor Sheila Dikshit at Raj Bhavan.
The field trips this time include visits on different days to the IAS Academy, the Government College of Agriculture Vellayani, the ‘Honey and Mango fest’ at Kanakakkunnu and Chitranjali Studio.
The camp is scheduled to end on May 11, when Mariamma Oommen, wife of the CM, and Health Minister V S Sivakumar will be present at the valedictory function.