With the academic curriculum packed with classroom-teaching, leaving little scope to groom other areas of interest, an increasing number of parents are eager to inculcate soft-skills among their wards. And, this tendency reflects in the rise in number of children enrolling in activities like yoga, meditation, personality development and other courses.

Catering to their requirements are many voluntary, spiritual and religious organisations by conducting classes in different courses, especially targeting high school and intermediate students.

“Youngsters are at the receiving end of academic stress with the focus always on ranks and marks. This is precisely why most students lack soft skills, vital for their overall development. This is where these short-term courses of week-long or 10-day duration come handy,” says D. Durga Shakthamma, a teacher at Art of Living Foundation, which launched Youth Empowerment Seminar in the city on Tuesday.

These courses cover aspects relating to confidence, self-esteem, leadership, team-building skills, inner peace and strength and stress elimination. The challenge is to make it fun and interesting for students by bringing into play breathing techniques, meditation and yoga, she explains.

“It is very interesting. I was not aware that one can beat tension and stress through simple breathing techniques. It is fun and at the same time, very useful,” says Ch. Alekya, an 11 standard student.

“Due to nuclear family culture and demanding academic schedules, many students lack the confidence to speak to a new person or being a part of a team work. Such courses are definitely of great help to them,” observes Ch. Aruna, a parent, who is also a psychologist.

A fortnight back, Chinmaya Mission Activity Centre had conducted “Vibrations”, a unique camp to help students improve their concentration levels and learn the art of meditation. “Many schools and colleges do not offer these courses. It is best to enrol students in these courses and make the best use of summer holidays,” feels M.Surya Kumari, another parent.

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