Kerala

Pandemic presents another dismal vacation for kids

With more COVID-related restrictions in place, little children in the State have been deprived of their long-awaited summer vacation. Many of them had made plans for the vacation in the beginning of the summer. Summer camps, the usual stress buster for urban children, have, however, been caught up in restrictions.

Pathasala, an organisation based at Arangottukara in Thrissur, has been holding nature/theatre/art and craft camps for children for the past sixteen years. In 2020, they redesigned the camps to suit the online format, but this year they decided to organise the usual camp. “Children are fed up with spending so much time online. They want to run around and do something with their hands. It would be too cruel to put them in an online summer camp once again,” said Sreeja. K.V, one of the coordinators of the camp. Pathasala’s camp held earlier this month had a very limited number of participants. “We wanted to hold another camp after the SSLC examinations. But it may not happen considering the present situation,” she added.

Red Youngs in Kozhikode has been organising theatre camps for children for the past one decade. But the camp, Manjadikkuru, did not take place last year due to the lockdown. This year, the organisation’s request to host the camp was denied by the district administration as theatre requires a lot of interaction and could be dangerous for participants. “It is a great loss for kids. They are in a state of lockdown,” said Baiju Merikkunnu, coordinator of Manjadikkuru camp. Even football camps that began a week ago were cancelled a couple of days before after the restrictions were strengthened, he said.

Kerala Museum in Ernakulam has found a way around the restrictions, hoping that it would succeed. It had planned a month-long art and craft summer camp earlier. But later split it into separate three-to-four-days-long sessions that are not restricted to children. The age limit is 10 to 55. “Participants can choose which session to be part of,” said Sujo Joy, Executive Officer of Kerala Museum. Besides, it will be held on its outdoor campus.

All of them were vocal about restrictions on little children going out. “It is a farce. What is the use of keeping children locked down when everyone else is going out?” Sreeja asked. “It is high time the authorities rethink their decision considering the mental health of children.”

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 8:12:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pandemic-presents-another-dismal-vacation-for-kids/article34352953.ece

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