Kozhikode

Hundreds step into the world of learning

A child being initiated into the world of letters by his father at Azhakodi Devi temple in Kozhikode on Friday, as his brother looks on.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

This was the first public outing they could remember over the past two years for most of the children who stepped into the world of learning on Friday, undergoing the Vidyarambham ceremony.

They were barely a year old when the whole world shut down. For almost two years, they led a sheltered life, rarely getting a view of the world outside, for they were deemed too vulnerable to COVID, and are yet to be vaccinated.

Thrown into the midst of a crowd all of a sudden, some of them were in a panic mode, while some cried, only to smile later as they drew letters on a platter of rice. That they were initiated into the world of letters by familiar persons such as parents or grandparents was the saving grace, as they were in comfortable surroundings, rather than in the lap of an unfamiliar priest or celebrity.

Hundreds of kids of the age group 2 to 4 in the district were initiated into the world of letters on Friday, the last day of Navarathri, celebrating the goddess of knowledge, Saraswathi. The Vidyarambham ceremony was held in every temple and some cultural centres across the district. The rituals began around 8 a.m. following the COVID protocol and the rules set by the State government as well as the Malabar Devaswom Board.

The temples and cultural centres had opened bookings for Vidyarambham a week ago and the registered children. Families had to turn up with their own platter of rice. However, the Azhakodi Devi temple in Kozhikode City had offered rice platters to the kids, well sanitised after each use.

To avoid the risk of COVID, the usual practise of getting the kids initiated by a well-known person of letters or priests was abandoned this year. Instead, the responsibility fell on the parents or relatives of the kids.

Some parents were not ready to risk their child’s exposure to a crowd even for Vidyarambham and hence chose to carry out the ritual in their private spaces.


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 6:17:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/hundreds-step-into-the-world-of-learning/article37009214.ece

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