Visually challenged children were among the hundreds from the city who got initiated into the world of letters on Monday, when temples, churches, and cultural organisations celebrated the ‘Vidyarambham’ ceremony.

The ceremony is held on the Vijayadashami day, when it is considered auspicious to begin study of any discipline.

For the visually challenged, a ‘Braille Vidyarambham’ was held at the Government Eye Hospital. The ceremony was organised by the Chakshumathi Charitable Trust, in association with the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology.

Children also thronged the Thunchan Smaraka Samithi, one of the main centres in the city for the ceremony, with their parents from early in the morning.

Clad in fresh attire and some even in the traditional ‘dhoti’, they were made to sit on the lap of the gurus, who wrote the invocation to Lord Ganapati on their tongue with a golden ring. They then guided the children to write on a bed of sand or rice with their right index finger.

Gurus

While V.R. Probodchandran Nair, D. Babu Paul, Mavelikkara Achuthan, M.R Thampan, Malayankizh Gopalakrishnan, and T.K. Damodaran Namboodiri helped the children write the first letters, Kattoor Narayana Pillai and Karakkamandapam Vijayakumar initiated children into the world of arts.

P. Susheela Devi, Sriram, and Rajashree Warrier were the acharyas for music, and Lakshmi Nair for dance.

The Vidyarambham ceremony was also held at Kerala State Jawahar Balabhavan, Kumaranasan National Institute of Culture, Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan, Sree Chithira Thirunal Smaraka Sangeetha Natya Kala Sahakarana Padana Kendram, Guru Gopinath Natanagramam, Mathwa Thulu Brahmana Samajam, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, and Sri Swati Tirunal Sangita Sabha.

Union Minister of State for Human Resources Shashi Tharoor and his wife Sunanda Pushkar participated in the ceremony at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan.

A festive atmosphere permeated the temples where a large number of devotees offered prayers on the auspicious day. Arrangements were made at all major temples including at Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Pazhavangai Ganapathy Temple, Sreekanteswaram Temple, Shanghumugham Devi Temple, and Chenthitta Devi Temple on the occasion.

The ceremony was elaborately held at the Madre de Dues Church in the city, popularly known as Vettukadu Church, as in the past years.

Monsinger George Paul led the ceremony.