THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the pandemic situation improving in the state, thousands of children were initiated into the world of letters in strict adherence to Covid protocol at temples, cultural centres and also at homes as part of the 'Vidyarambham' ritual that marks the conclusion of the Navaratri festival.
Panachikkadu Saraswathy temple in Kottayam, also known as the Dakshina Mookambika (Mookambika of the South), was one of the religious places in the state which witnessed maximum rush for 'Vidyarambham' ritual. Owing to Covid restrictions, children were initiated into the world of knowledge by their parents with priests giving the instructions.
Children, seated on the lap of their parent or grandparent, wrote their first letters with the index finger on a platter of rice grains. According to the Panachikkadu temple authorities, arrangements such as online booking were made for 'Vidyarambham' of up to 4,000 children.
Poojappura Sarawathi Mandapam, Attukal Temple and Thunchan Memorial at Airanimuttam were the centres in state capital Thiruvananthapuram where the 'Vidyarambham' ritual was held.
Owing to Covid restrictions, 'Vidyarambham' ritual was not held at Thunchanparambu at Tirur - the birthplace of the father of the Malayalam language Thunchath Ezhuthachan. Instead, digital 'Vidyarambham' certificates bearing the signature of noted author -screenwriter MT Vasudevan Nair were provided for those who made online registration.
'Vidyarambham' ritual was held at Thunchan Madam, the samadhi of Thunchanth Ezhuthachan in Palakkad.
Chief Minister Pinraryi Vijayan initiated four children into the world of letters as part of 'Vidyarambham'. Neha, Niya, Kani and Fidal were the children who participated in the ceremony at the Chief Minister's official residence Cliff House. Pinarayi, who expressed happiness over the imminent reopening of schools on November 1, also conveyed his Vijayadashami greetings to the people.