MADURAI: It is the passion for Thirukkural that drives this retired headmaster into action. A Sundaramahalingam (65), who is from Paravai, has been teaching Thirukkural in schools by way of singing and dancing. So far, he has performed at 1,920 institutions from anganwadi to universities.
Recently, he took classes in schools in Sivaganga and Tirunelveli districts and also Kanyakumari.
He uses simple ragas and dance forms to help the students understand the epic poem easily. When he took the class at Chairman Manicka Vasagam Middle School at Devakottai in Sivaganga district, some of the students also joined him in the performance.
“It was similar to activity-based learning,” said L Chokkalingam, headmaster of the school. He said a group of students has been practising the couplets ever since the performance of Sundaramahalingam. The group has got permission to perform in the Thirukkural Conference, to be held in June in Karaikudi.
“I could perform the couplets, which would start with ‘Ennenba’, in three dance forms such as Bharathanatyam, folk and western dances,” said Sundaramahalingam, basically a Tamil teacher who retired from Kadavur Panchayat Union Middle School in Karur district.
“I have heard the students pronounce the words wrongly even in the first couplet ‘Agara Mudhala’. Through my performances, I want to create interest on the subject in students at an early stage,” he said.
Taking note of his efforts, Puducherry School Education Department had allowed him to take classes in the schools. He has covered 40 schools a year in the UT.