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Narikurava children exposed to fine arts and martial arts

M. Balaganessin

40 kids from society also attend the training in Tiruchi

— Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

Enthusiastic lot: Children of ’Narikurava’ community undergoing training on ’Bharathanatyam’ at Devarayaneri near Tiruchi on Thursday.

TIRUCHI: The Department of Art and Culture has embarked upon an innovative programme by imparting special training in fine arts and martial arts to the children of two socially backward sections of the society in Tiruchi.

While 50 children of the ‘Narikurava’ community at Devarayaneri underwent training on ‘Bharathanayatam’, vocal, gymnastic and karate, a batch of 40 pupils of Child Labour Elimination and Effective Rehabilitation Society (CHEERS) at the Servite Social Service Society at Ambikapuram near here, learnt the fundamentals of ‘Bharathanatyam’, vocal and ‘silambam’.

The fact that the children evinced keen interest in learning the ancient arts was evident at Devarayaneri. A popular ‘kirtan’ composed by Muthuthadavar -- ‘Aadi kondar’ -- rent the air in perfect rhythm and a group of 15 girls were seen quick to dance in consistent with the ‘Adhi’ thalam of the song in ‘Mayamaulavagawla’ ragam.

“It was a rare opportunity for us to undergo the training in this ancient art” says a student, S.M. Swetha, profusely thanking the music teachers, Prabha and A. Bhuvaneswari. “ They taught us the nuances of ‘Bharathanatyam’ to such an extent that I could learn the ‘bhava’ for the ‘kirtan’ within 15 days,” she adds.

At Ambikapuram, the music teacher, R. Leelavathy adopts a child-friendly approach in imparting vocal training through a song that contains values on equal rights, gender equality and educational opportunities for all.

The resource-person for ‘Silambam’ M.K. Madhu says that the CHEERS pupils were quick in learning three types of the martial art – ‘War silambam’, ‘Alankara silambam’ and ‘Sports silambam’. A sustained practice would qualify them to contest even in State-level competitions.

This was the first time that the department had organised this summer camp in the district, although a State-level programme was held last year, says the Assistant Director of Art and Culture, R. Gunasekaran.

Certificates would be distributed to the participants at a function to be held in course of time. A week-end programme would be organised for the ustained development of students’ skills. He also suggested that the appointment of music and dance teachers in all CHEERS schools would go a long way in motivating the students to learn the ancient fine arts.

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