A free summer camp for rural children that turned out to be a memorable experience.

The competitive world demands multiple skills from students and it has become imperative for children to possess extraordinary skills to face the challenges the world throws up. Students from rural areas, however, get fewer opportunities and exposure to various soft skills and extra-curricular components.

To bridge this lacuna and also to spend the summer holidays happily, while acquiring some skills, a summer camp was organised by Vergal (Roots) a youth organisation at Achampathu in Madurai. The free summer camp was exclusively organised for children from rural areas at Government Primary School, Erkudi. Knowledge-building, Science Activities, Human Rights, Awareness Programmes, Eco Arts, Educational Tour, Yoga and Self Defence programmes were part of the camp.

A State level one day seminar on “Education as Power” was also organised as a special feature. Resource-persons belonging to various sectors such as Tamil Nadu Science Forum, Universities, Engineering Colleges, Arts and Science Colleges, Schools and subject expert's institutions contributed their time and talent to this summer camp.

A good number

In all, 37 boys, 23 girls, 25 volunteers and 15 resource-persons actively participated in the camp.

At the inaugural function, M. Jeyakumar, president, Erkudi Achampathu, Panchayat, delivered the presidential address.

A. Kathir, executive director, Evidence, delivered the chief guest's address and S. Balakrishnan, director, Vergal, talked about the objective of the programme. He said that the camp was to enable rural students to acquire various skills apart from what is being taught at schools.

In the valedictory function, chief guest N. Muthumohan, Professor of Guru Nanak Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, distributed certificates and mementos to the children who participated in the camp and also appreciated their efforts.