Thirteen-year-old Dhruv Krishna aspires to be a robotics engineer. Another boy wants to be the richest man in the world by the time he is 18! Racer, hotelier, bank owner and coffee shop owner are some of the other popular vocations. These are all children and teens sketching out their ambitions, 10 years down the line Time, as part of a two-day workshop on leadership through movie making at the Coimbatore Cosmopolitan Club. Just Books Library and Fun Square, collaborated with the School of Success, a Chennai-based organisation for this workshop.

“The aim of the workshop is to make children confident of facing challenges that life will throw at them in future, by improving their interpersonal skills. Most schools focus solely on academics, without training children on how to cope with failure, or any unexpected challenges. Being a topper in school doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be successful in life, as that requires a broader range of skills,” says Deepa Aathreya, founder and CEO of School of Success.

Children from the ages of five to 14 are divided into specific groups and work on a variety of activities involving their active participation.

Deepa reads out fairy tales to the five year olds, going straight to the conclusion and allowing the kids to form their own introduction. This lends some imaginative twists to the tales.

She re-tells Little Red Riding Hood, making the wolf a good character and turning Red Riding Hood evil, to make things interesting.

Children pay rapt attention to Deepa’s rendition of the Lion and the Mouse fable, highly amused by her expressions and taking home the message that nobody is too big or small to help another in need.

It is now the turn of children over 10 to test their abilities as directors, as they make short films on the theme “Never Give Up.” The organisers provide cameras to the youngsters to let their creative juices flow.

Their excitement goes on overdrive as they create stories on how to follow one’s passion and never forget the value of friendship using short videos. The healthy turn out of 44 children and teenagers impresses the organisers.

“A lot of parents have come forward to let their children participate in this workshop which is an encouraging sign. Skills such as confidence, leadership, public speaking and presentations in front of a crowd need to be honed in a child’s personality early on in life,” says Niranjani Ramanathan of Just Books.

For the children, it turns out to be an opportunity to make new friends, learn a few new skills and leave with smiles on their faces.