Some of them were tense. Others were relaxed. As seven differently-abled school students from Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts and their parents interacted with each other at the waiting room of the Kozhikode Railway Station on a balmy Saturday evening, at least a couple of curious eyes outside were wondering what the fuss was all about.
They were there to board a train to Chandigarh as part of a Punjab Darshan, a tour organised by the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. Twenty five students from across the State are participating in the tour and the rest would board the train from other stations, said Prajosh K., of the block resource centre (BRC) in Edappal, Malappuram district, State coordinator for the tour.
He said the students were selected considering their creative talent. There are children who can dance, those who sing and a couple of budding artistes too. Those from weaker sections of society and those who have not travelled outside Kerala were given priority. “We will reach Chandigarh on November 15. A cultural programme has been organised there on November 17, and at Amritsar on November 17. In the course of the journey, the students will be taken to Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah border and probably the Golden Temple,” Mr. Prajosh said.
It would be a 10-day programme, including the journey. The All-India Malayali Association and Smart Wings Calicut, a non-governmental organisation, too have chipped in with help.
The excitement was unmistakable on the faces of students. While clinging to his parents, Farhan, a Class 7 student of Government Upper Primary School, Kodiyathoor, Kozhikode, was seen saying, “Don’t go vappa, I am also coming.”
Abdul Basith K.P., a Class 5 student from Kuttippuram in Malappuram, was all about to lift his bag when the teachers told him that the train was late by about an hour.
Mr. Prajosh said students from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts had earlier taken a tour to other States and this year, those from other districts too had been included. “Basith had performed folk dance in Delhi last time. After seeing his performance, the officer-bearers of the Punjabi Malayali Association invited him to perform in their State this year,” he added.
Mayor Thottathil Raveendran and M. Radhakrishnan, chairman, corporation standing committee on education, came to see off the 68-member group, including BRC staff.
17 Apr 2021
18 Apr 2021