14 years on, summer campers get back together for a cause

The cover of the anthology of poems titled “Koottu”.  

As children, they met at a summer camp in 2006 and became part of a revolutionary publication procedure. Almost a decade and a half later, they are back together to relive that experience and in the mean time, help out someone in need.

Around 20 professionals from various fields, all natives of Kozhikode, are coming together after 14 years to republish the works of poet Sathyachandran Poyilkavu, which they themselves had edited and published during their summer camp days. The anthology of poems titled “Koottu”, which falls in the genre of children’s literature, was a revolutionary step in the history of publication. It was edited and designed by a group of children of the age group 10 to 15, who were part of the “Koottu” summer camp, under the aegis of Sunday Theatre in Kozhikode, back in 2006.

The anthology featured 25 poems that were shortlisted and edited from a set of 100 poems by Sathyachandran Poyilkavu, a poet, who was one of the faculty members at the camp. “The poet is in severe distress in this era of COVID and the summer campers of 2006 have come together to help him out financially by bringing out a new edition of the book to help him out,” said writer Civic Chandran, who was the coordinator of the camp all those years ago.

A salient feature of “Koottu” when it was first published was that each of the 500 copies of the book had a different cover design made by the children themselves. Some of the designs made then were not used at the time, but will be used in the new edition of the book. The book was released by actor Ajayan, who later came to be known as Guinness Pakru in the Malayalam film industry.

The decision to bring out a new edition was made just a week ago when the old friends met again on the social media. Grown up and busy in their own fields of work, they decided to commemorate their online reunion by extending a helping hand to the poet who was instrumental in helping them make history.

“We are all still connected to art and theatre in one way or the other. The publication of ‘Koottu’ was part of the camp that moulded us into what we are today,” said Anupama Somanathan, one of the participants of the camp, who now is a dubbing artiste.

The group plans to sell the copies from the new edition through their personal contacts and hand over the proceeds to Mr.Poyilakavu.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 2:46:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/14-years-on-summer-campers-get-back-together-for-a-cause/article32671685.ece

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