An elephantine experience
The Forest Department had arranged a special session by bringing children from the Government School for the Visually Impaired at Vazhuthacaud.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the 23 students who huddled in front of a figurine of an elephant at the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at Kottoor, it proved to be a novel experience.
Running their hands over the animal’s trunk, clutching on to its tusk and tugging at its tail, the visually-impaired children picked up the essential know-how about elephants. “I have never seen an elephant in my life. This is the first time I am touching a model of an elephant. It helped get a good idea about elephants,” says Akshay Krishna S R, a Class X student of SMV Government Model HSS. Akshay is completely blind.
For most students, the activity enlivened their spirits. On Thursday, a unique festival was held at the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Kottoor.
The centre which throws its doors open for free during the World Wildlife Week celebrations saw a good number of people arrive to watch the jumbos in action.
The Forest Department had arranged a special session by bringing children from the Government School for the Visually Impaired at Vazhuthacaud. Twenty-three students were briefed about elephants and their habitat and allowed to experience the pachyderm.
The day started with Anayoottu (elephant feeding session) where the elephants were fed with fruit mix. For the first time, the public could sponsor food for the elephants. Out of the 10 people who sponsored the food, three were selected by taking lots and they could feed the elephants directly. The food sponsored by others were fed by the staff. The three sponsors who fed the elephants include Tosh, a foreigner and techie, Smita Titus, a teacher at the school for the visually impaired and P S Prasheed, a native of Kattakkada. A parade of the elephants was also undertaken where the elephants moved in a line, each one holding the other’s tail with its trunk.
The day-long event saw the conduct of a quiz competition and elocution contest themed on elephants. The students who bagged the first prize and second prize in the quiz contest were gifted with the wooden figurines of elephants and also gets a chance to stay at the cottage at the centre.