It is that time of the year when schools are gearing up for summer holidays and parents in turn are gearing up to send their children to summer camps.
With a number of options in every area, choosing the right camp for their child is not easy for most parents. For the past month, parents have been checking advertisements and talking to their peers to decide where to send their children.
“Every year, even before the end of the final examination, I finalise the camp my child will attend. I make sure that many of my son’s friends go to the same camp, and it is also nearby,” P. Vijaya, the mother of a 10-year-old, said.
For other parents, the problem is that there are several options in the same locality. R. Deepa, whose four-year-old has just completed her first year in school, is looking to find something that will engage her daughter. “There are three places where summer camps are held near my house and I am not sure where my daughter should go. I want her to enjoy herself, but also not have too much time on her hands,” she said.
Although there are camps that focus on a single activity, like robotics, the camps organised for younger children tend to have a variety of options. For the people planning the summer camps, they have to take into account a number of factors, including the age of children they are admitting. Divya Viswanathan, who is organising a summer camp at the Fourlines Preschool in Alwarthirunagar, said: “We allow children from the age of two-and-a-half to 12; so we have to ensure that we have activities that keep them all engaged,” she said. Their camp has a mix of arts and crafts, jewellery making, gardening and cooking.
“These summer camps are a good way for children to make new friends and mingle with children of all age groups. It is up to camp supervisors to ensure all children learn something new,” she added.
Organic is in again
At a time when supermarkets selling branded products are opening up even in rural areas, a new wave of organic stores are becoming the favourite haunts of many city residents.
While an earlier generation of organic stories did not gain traction because of their costly products and limited set of choices, these stores are doing things differently.
Ananthoo, founder-volunteer of the organic shop reStore in Kottivakkam, says it is a myth that organic products cost more – a perception that has sounded the death-knell of many such shops. He says that the launch of Organic Farmer’s Market (OFM), which works on a centralised system of sourcing products from various farmers and distributing it to its affiliated stores, has helped in expanding the market to even the middle class.
Like OFM, a number of entrepreneurs engaged in farming are opening organic shops in various parts of the city. K. Chandrasekaran, co-promoter of Jaycee Green, said their store, working on a ‘farm to home’ concept, is successful because they own agricultural land. After beginning with a store in T. Nagar, Mr. Chandrasekaran is opening three more outlets in the city. The promoters plan to open another outlet in Olympia Tech Park because of the growing awareness of health benefits and environmental consciousness among residents.
While there is reason to cheer over the fast-closing price gap between organic and non-organic food items, consumers fear there is a chance retailers could pass non-organic food as organic. Mr. Ananthoo said consumers have a responsibility to check the ‘traceability’ of the organic products from retailers.