As the speakers addressed the gathering at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School, Nungambakkam for the second of a series of inaugural programmes of The Hindu Newspaper in Education (NIE) programme on Monday, some students meticulously took down notes.

A few such as Vasudha Mishra were prepared to write a report. “I contribute for a children's website . Also, for events conducted in school a few of us prepare a report and read it out at the assembly,” said the class VIII student, who reads the newspaper regularly to follow up on stories.

This got underscored by the speakers at the event, too. Chief guest and Registrar of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University Sudha Seshayyan said if the reading habit is cultivated in the right way, it can help even during times of crisis. “Reading contributes to wholesomeness of an individual,” said Dr. Seshayyan.

Mrs. Y. G. Parthasarathy, Dean and Director PSBB Group of Schools, said writing and reading are two habits one must inculcate. She asked students not to be carried away by media hype, and to empathise and respond to stories that genuinely touch them. Mohan Rajan, Director, Rajan Eye Care Hospital, recalled gathering news during his student days for the ‘Journal Club'. Apart from the host of activities that The Hindu NIE conducts for schools, this year it also plans to conduct a musical programme for teachers in August and a workshop of parents.