For Sruti Sreejith, a fourth standard student of Saraswathi Vidyanikethan, Chengamanad, Thursday will be a special day.
When the world observes Sanskrit Day, the little girl will make her debut as a Sanskrit newsreader by reading a bulletin to be webcast by the online Sanskrit news portal Samprativartah (www.samprativartah.in), promoted jointly by Sanskrit teachers in Ernakulam and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
The five-minute news bulletin featuring news of interest to children will be webcast at 5 a.m. It will be preceded by a recorded video message by Education Minister C. Ravindranath. In his message, Mr. Ravindranath hailed the initiatives of the portal, which would complete a year on September 16.
The bulletin will mark the second phase of an initiative launched by Samprativartah with an aim of creating a talent pool of Sanskrit newsreaders among schoolchildren.
It was launched on June 1 with the webcast of bulletins read by upper primary students trained in news reading. The bulletins are being webcast on Wednesdays since then.
“Thursday will mark the launch of Sanskrit newsreading by lower primary students. They will join the 20-odd upper primary students who have already read the news,” said O.S. Harikumar, a Sanskrit teacher at St. Mary’s U.P. School, Thevara, and a member of the SSA’s Sanskrit Research Group that founded the online portal.
Nine students even got a rare opportunity to prove their newsreading skills in Sanskrit at a programme broadcast by the All India Radio (AIR) in May.
The opportunity came their way, thanks to the three-day training camp in Sanskrit newsreading for schoolchildren organised by Samprativartah and the SSA during April. More than 50 students studying in Standards IV to VII at schools across the district attended the camp.
Mr. Harikumar said that more training camps would be held in future in various parts of the district.