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Learning to play in sand again

Staff Reporter

— Photo: M. Karunakaran

Simple pleasures: Children making sand castles on Elliots Beach in Chennai on Saturday.

CHENNAI: In the past, for children an evening at the beach was never complete without making a sand castle or a sand mound. But, these days beaches offer other avenues of entertainment such as balloon shooting. So one rarely spots children indulging in simple pleasures such as digging up sand with their bare hands.

As part of its ‘Tree of Life Festival – 2008’, Chennai-based Prakrithi Foundation organised a competition for families to dig into the sand and showcase their creativity. As the sun hung around casually in the western skies on Saturday evening, families dug into the sand on Elliots Beach in Besant Nagar to build castles.

There were round sand castles and perfect squares created by the 10 teams. S. Jitendra, B. Sudharsan and B. Priya had made ‘Fort St. George’, which, they said, represented Chennai.

The group comprising S. Sripriya, S. Ramapriya, P. Manasa and N. Sharadha shaped out a coconut tree from the sand to represent nature and because it was a very useful tree to humans. They had also made a volcano. Another non-castle creation was by P. Sriram, P.L. Sarvani and P. Sanju, who had made a volcano that signified Japan and had decorated it with old corn cobs (to depict burnt trees) and red tile pieces (to show the lava flowing down).

V.R. Devika of Prakrithi Foundation said this was the third Tree of Life Festival, and that they had organised puppet shows, story-telling events and lectures on Jawaharlal Nehru and his ideas on nature.

“We wanted people to enjoy playing and creating with the sand, which is nature’s gift to Chennai,” she explained.

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