Children at the Government Girls’ Home at Kakkanad had a memorable time on Saturday. The occasion was the Onam celebration at the Home, organised jointly by the Child Welfare Committee and non-governmental organisation Raising Our Voices (ROV).
The children were all present for the celebration dressed in their traditional best. They also put up a cultural programme on the day, with a little help from the organisers. Beginning the function with a prayer, girls at the home put up two thiruvathirakali performances, an Onam song, and a skit. A flower carpet on the verandah completed the Onam atmosphere at the Girls’ Home.
“The children were busy preparing for the programme for the last one month. They did everything from planning to putting up the wonderful show today,” said a volunteer with ROV.
This is the first time Onam celebrations were being organised at the Home at such a scale, said another volunteer. The children were excited too as the celebrations provided a welcome relief from their ongoing examinations.
No celebration of Onam is complete without the traditional feast and that’s what awaited the girls after the cultural programmes.
The children enjoyed the meal on plantain leaves and had palada payasam for dessert.
An impromptu dance session began soon after the lunch. The girls took over the selection of songs playing on the music system and were all clapping and dancing in no time.
The session came to an end only when a welcome visitor arrived at the gates of the Home – actor Shwetha Menon.
The children all cheered and gathered around the actor, who was bombarded with questions about her baby daughter and latest film.
“My daughter is sleeping. That’s why I didn’t bring her to see you all,” Ms. Menon explained to the girls in response to their questions. She also sang a song from her film Kalimannu with all the children joining in.
“The celebrations and programmes were a good way for the children to channel their pent-up energy and they had a lot of fun,” said Padmaja Nair, chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee. Members of the committee were all present at the celebrations and they spent the morning with the children.