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A greeting with a message gearing them for a great career

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S.Sundar

They never expected the District Collector to send New Year wishes to their wards

VIRUDHUNAGAR: For many rural people it was a surprise. They never expected the District Collector to send a New Year greeting to their wards.

Poignant scenes were witnessed by teachers and community animators of the Indus Child Labour Scheme when they went in search of child labourer-turned students to deliver the District Collector, A. Mohammed Aslam's New Year greeting.

"Many could not believe that the District Collector had sent a greeting in the name of their wards. Many mothers could not control themselves and shed tears in ecstasy," said Y. Jeyaprakash, Project Director, Indus Child Labour Scheme.

The teachers and animators began delivering the greetings from Saturday evening to the 1950-odd students of 59 Transitional Education Centres.

Parents on cloud nine

The parents realised the need for literacy when they fumbled while reading the Collector's greeting printed in Tamil. "Some of them were in cloud nine, when they listened to their children reading it out," he added.

"Collector 'ayyave engalukku vazhththu anuppirukkangala? (Has the Collector himself sent a greeting to us?) What should we do now," the women started asking them not knowing what to do.

The animators explained to them that the Collector had asked the students to work hard to get ranks.

Stressing the importance of education, Mr. Aslam recalled that many people had risen to new heights in their lives only through education, despite poverty.

Childhood was only for education and going to work in younger age would never take them to success.

Urging the children to go to schools instead of factories, he pointed out that the Government had been implementing many schemes to educate them.

Some of the jubilant students wanted to preserve the letter with a photo-frame.

Many grateful mothers said, "Kattayam enga pullaingila pallikoodathukkuthaan anuppuvom (We will certainly send our children only to school)."

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