CHENNAI: The occasional glitch with the sound system could neither keep the stars from shining nor prevent the audience from roaring at the Arunodhaya Youth Day carnival held recently.
The carnival, which took place at a jam-packed hall in Royapuram, was organised by the Youth Forum of Arunodhaya, a NGO working among Chennai and Thiruvallur slum communities to uproot child labour and promote children’s rights. Creative performances, running the gamut from traditional Karagam dancing and parai drumming to American-style break-dancing, were followed by speeches by Minister of Fisheries K.P.P. Samy, Arunodhaya executive director Virgil D’Sami, Loyola College Professor Bernard D’Sami and Assistant Commissioner Senthaamarai Kannan. “With the establishment of the Youth Forum one year ago, we wanted to inculcate a sense of responsibility in former child labourers. We want them to take care of their own community,” said Ms. D’Sami. According to 19-year-old Youth Forum member N. Deepan, Arunodhaya’s efforts are paying off. The winning team of a city-wide cricket competition, organised by the Youth Forum, received their prize from the Minister for Fisheries K.P.P. Sami.