As many as 4,030 children of pre-school age were initiated into the world of letters at a massive Vidyarambham function held at Thunchan Paramba, Tirur, on Monday.
Several thousands of parents and close relatives who accompanied the tiny tots filled the sprawling campus of Thunchan Paramba, the home of Thunchath Ezhuthachan, widely believed to be the father of Malayalam language.
Long queues of people holding little children in their arms were formed hours before dawn. Hundreds of women and children had arrived at Thunchan Paramba when the Ezhuthiniruthu ceremony began at 4.30 a.m.
“Unlike the previous years, four or five people accompanied one child this time. It is a unique thing. It shows how serious people have been about the Vidyarambham of Thunchan Paramba,” said poet Manamboor Rajanbabu. Last year, 4,416 children had undergone Ezhuthiniruthu at Thunchan Paramba.
The Ezhuthiniruthu continued till 3 p.m. as parents brought children from places far and near to the vanguard of Malayalam language for scripting ‘Harisree Ganapathaye Namah’ in rice.
Jnanpith laureate M.T. Vasudevan Nair led the Vidyarambham.
“This time, M.T. initiated so many children. Perhaps the largest by him in recent years,” said Mr. Rajanbabu.
Writers such as Alankode Leelakrishnan, K.P. Ramanunni, Chathanath Achuthanunni, Manamboor Rajanbabu, P.K. Gopi, K.X. Anto, Kilimanoor Madhu, Kanesh Poonoor, A. Sahadevan, K.S. Venkitachalam, Radhamani Ayinkalam, and G.K. Rammohan introduced the children to the world of letters at Saraswati Mandapam.
Traditional acharyas conducted the ‘ezhuthiniruthu’ at Krishnasila Mandapam. Both platforms witnessed a heavy rush.
Dozens of poets, both budding and established, dedicated their poems at an exclusive Vidyarambham of poets.
Among them were Manambur Rajanbabu, Alankode Leelakrishnan, P.K. Gopi, Radhamani Ayinkalam, and K.X. Anto.
The poets’ Vidyarambham at Thunchan Paramba has a long tradition.
Poets like Vylopilly, N.N. Kakkad and Kunjunni had presented their poems at Thunchan Paramba.