Downtown

Look who is keeping the kids on their toes

File photo of Santha playing with children in her neighbourhood.   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

The majority of residents at CIT Nagar Second Main Road know Santha as the paati (grandmother) who does not allow children to play on the streets.

“Playing on the streets is dangerous for the children and the motorists,” says Santha.

She has allowed the kids in the neighbourhood to use the front yard of her house as a playfield, anytime of the day.

For nearly 10 years now, this space has been used by children to play shuttle badminton, chess, carom and other indoor games with their paati.

“Earlier, many children would come to play here during the summer vacation. I used to train them. If they were short of one player, I would play with them. At times, I would be the umpire,” she recalls.

Seventy-five years old now, Shanta does not have the same old energy to be able to motivate the children. A few years ago, she suffered a stroke.

The number of children visiting her front yard has come down. “Some of them are scared of me,” laughs Santha, who has spiritedly fought and won many a civic issue for the residents.

Shanta, who has seen many of the children win laurels, says three of them who played regularly from her ‘court’ are state-level players. “I too want to get back to playing shuttle,” she says, showing the dusty badminton rackets that are waiting to be used again.

**

Seventy-nine year-old Sarveswara Rau is a familiar sight at Independence Day Park, Jeeva Park and Haddows Road Park from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. where he takes free yoga classes for seniors on certain days of the week. During summer, his classes extend beyond 7 a.m. to allow children to attend the training. “I never publicise my programmes. People get to know them by word of mouth, “ says Rau, a resident of Nungambakkam. Every week, he trains at Independence Day Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; at Jeeva Park on Tuesday and at Haddows Park on Wednesday and Thursday.

At present, five to eight children come to the parks to learn yoga from him.

“It’s always a floating crowd,” he says.

Two years ago, school representatives from a few institutions around T. Nagar sent students for a 15-day camp.

***

P. P. Ramaswami is not the conventional quiz master.

The manner in which he asks questions and gives his clues makes one think hard. And he has a way of making you feel good for having got an answer right. “I had good fun posing questions to seniors at the annual day celebration of the Probus Club,” says 75-year-old Ramaswami, who retired as dean of post graduate students from the Agriculture University, Coimbatore.

Ramaswami has been conducting quiz for the last 10 years but in a small way.

“A year ago, DAV School, Mogappair invited me for their Eco Club function where I conducted a quiz,” he says. He also conducts quizzes at TNAU’s training programmes.

“If schools and associations invite me, I am ready to conduct quiz programmes,” he says.

He can be reached at 9841280256.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 4:59:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/look-who-is-keeping-the-kids-on-their-toes/article7164368.ece

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