The talent in our schools in north Madras amazes me.
It did all over again when, despite the rain, we made a trip to Royapuram last Saturday, to be at the Project Day of a school that goes by the name of Kalaimagal Vidyalaya.
Teams from this school had impressed us at the ‘Madras Day’ heritage project show held in late August. So we could not refuse an invitation of the school to experience all that the teachers and students were presenting to their colleagues, parents of the students and guests.
This year, the theme was ‘Namadhu Chennai’ and in every classroom were models of some landmark or the other of our city.
The best was a dramatised presentation on the industrial landmarks of the city.
And for once, the IT industry did not find space here.
There was a reason for it - these children and their teachers have still not seen the gleaming towers of an IT Corridor.
To them, the industrial giants are the Ennore Foundries, Ashok Leyland, Binny Ltd. and Parrys.
Perhaps their parents work at these factories. Perhaps the children pass by the gates of these campuses every day.
They knew the stories of these industrial giants very well. And a talented teacher had got the girls to weave the histories of these companies into a ‘villupattu’ programme for the Project Day show.
Wouldn't it be a grand gesture on the part of the senior executives of these companies to invite the senior students here to their factories? Perhaps the tour would ignite the imagination of these young people who are on the threshold of college studies.
We left behind a suggestion at Kalaimagal Vidyalaya - take the senior students on tours of the city institutions they had based their models and projects on.
Take them to the High Court, the Corporation of Chennai buildings, the General Post Office. Explore these places in the neighbourhood. Get closer to life.
At our newspaper offices, we have been assigning stories to school students who have signed up to write for our annual Children’s Day issue.
I must say our children know very little about their neighbourhoods.
The local park and playground.
The local library and research centre. Our children have not explored these places.