TIRUVANANTHAPURA : The 45-day long colourful and vibrant summer camp ‘Kilikkootam’ organised by the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare has come to an end. Even though the initial registration was 200, this time the camp saw the participation of nearly 400 students from Classes I to XII. “The best part of Kilikkootam was that I could make a lot of new friends. Apart from that, I learned to play the keyboard. The usual session starts at 9.30 am and we return at 5 pm. During the morning session, we are given training on musical instruments and during afternoon session we have a lot of group activities,” says Abba, a Class VII student of SNDP public school Kollam, and lives in Peroorkada.
“This is his second year at this summer camp. Classes are not only restricted in classrooms. The kids are taken to the parks, training in music and dance are also provided. I feel Kalikkootam provides a great learning experience for the kids,” says Divya Mary John, mother of Abba. Children were given training in musical instruments, dance, painting, origami, communication English, Malayalam, general knowledge and acting skills during the one and a half month long camp.
“For the past two years, Kalikootam has turned out to be an amazing platform for kids to learn a lot of new things. This greatly helps them in their overall development. For the past 45 days they have learned to play several musical instruments and as a result of that today many of them are performing on stage,” says Nandhini K, one of the eight teachers who were in charge of the students in the camp. For the first time, a film festival for children was organised in association with Kerala State Chalachitra Academy and Kerala State Institute of Children’s Literature. Participation of more than 6000 children was another highlight of the summer camp.
This year’s Kalikkootam provided children with several new experiences. For many, the basic training received in various musical instruments have turned out to be their new found interest. “This year’s camp was more interesting and grander than the last year. Out of all the training we got in musical instruments, I liked Violin and now I am planning to go ahead with the violin training,” says Lakshmi Krishnan, a Class VIII student of Kendriya Vidyalaya Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram and lives in Karikkakom.
Apart from music, art and dance the camp also organised several sessions with the aim of making children aware of the atrocities against them, the hidden dangers they face, the ills of social media, hazards posed by substance abuse, and mental distress they may experience. Abishek S B, who is studying in Government UP School, Thirumala feels that the camp was very engaging as he could learn the basics of drums, tabla and even get trained in communicative English.
The closing ceremony of the summer camp was inaugurated by Biju Prabhakar, special secretary, Public Works. Speaking on the occasion, Biju Prabhakar urged parents not to put additional pressure on their children. They should be able to enjoy their childhood without being under the pressure of studies, he further added. The function was presided by Deepak S P, general secretary, Kerala State Council for Child Welfare. Camp coordinator Attukal Pradeep and camp director G N Arungopi were also present for the function.