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PRODIGIES in the making

Good public speaking skills and amazing memory power - these sisters possess both



Appreciation from the First Citizen. Pic: K. Ananthan.

WORDS OF praise from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and a `best wishes' message from the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee are the latest in the series of accolades they have received. These sisters have won appreciation from many a quarter for their oratorical skills.

Recalling the meeting with the President during his visit to Tirupur, the elder sibling H Aishwarya Lakshmi, studying class III in Vasavi Vidyalaya, says: "I spoke about the President and the revolutionary poet Bharathiar. After the speech, the President wanted to know my name, the class in which I was studying and my ambition. When I told him, he said I should dream in order to achieve my goals."

How does it feel to address a star-studded audience? Exciting? "Yes, but the experience was nothing unusual. I didn't feel nervous. It was just like any other day," she says with confidence.

Aishwarya' six-and-a-half year-old sister Anjana Devi is a Kural prodigy, who can recite the Tirukkural by rote. Test her skills by naming an `adhigaram' and she stumps you with her brilliance.

R T Hari, their proud father, says: "Both grasp things quite easily. We just groomed them." Anjana also knows the names of all chemical elements. Mention the notation she comes out with the name of the chemical element. Aishwarya is also proficient in the names of capitals of countries, States and currencies.

How did the kids focus on public speaking, that too in Tamil? "I am a lover of Tamil literature. They were also interested in it. Moreover, only if they are able to express their thoughts in Tamil, can they become good public speakers," he feels.

Though Hari writes out the speeches, he discusses them with his daughters so that they have an idea about the issues involved.


"They are not merely memorising the speech and repeating it in a public forum."

In his message, Mr. Vajpayee said: "I believe that parents and teachers have to work together to ensure that our children have the tools and guidance to achieve success in education and life."

The duo has also been receiving invitations from a number of organisations for delivering speeches on specific subjects. And, they never miss such opportunities.

"They get to speak in government functions and events organised by various social service organisations," Hari says.

Apart from academics, the sisters focus on extra-curricular activities too. Now, Aishwarya is studying biology and her younger sister is busy learning the Silappadhigaram.

M. ALLIRAJAN

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