Monday, June 20, 2016

Vaayana Vaaram - Day 2.

Today's proceedings had begun at 1000 hrs and the power minister had come well in time and we just made it in time to begin the first session. The team from the Vishwa Yuvak Kendra and our own technical team headed by Vignesh had kick started the session on Digital Literacy to about 150 students drawn from the districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.

The idea is to empower each of these children, studying in the senior classes of the high schools, to help another 100 individuals - drawn from all ages and willing to be part of the scheme - to become totally e-literate. After the one hour inaugural, the interactive session had started with enthusiastic participation on the part of the students that continued till 1700 hrs with two breaks for lunch and tea.

It was in the course of the session, that I befriended a teacher - all of 72 yrs - whom we'd felicitated yesterday. He used to teach Biology but was now deep into spirituality, spreading the message of educating youngsters to be good human beings. His sessions are drawn from the salient points drawn from the Bhagwad Gita, the Bible and the Quran. He learnt the hard lessons from life, to quote him, because he'd led a wayward life in the initial stages when he was jolted by two events:-

   (a) He got into a spot of trouble and was ostracised in professional circles because he'd come down          heavily on girls wearing leg-ins. This was due to his conviction that men got provoked by the
         way the fairer sex dressed up!
   (b) He lost his wife, after being married for four years. His wife had undergone an abortion after
         conceiving for the first time only to die, along with still born twins, during the second!

These had turned his small world topsy turvy but he rose like the proverbial phoenix and is now a calm individual, that has understood the game of life.

Another person whom I'd the privilege to meet was Veeramani - all of 62 yrs - who was in charge of the electrical and electronic system at the venue. He recalled his younger days when he used to provide the same arrangements - at a lesser scale, though - for my grandfather while he was active with the Library and Literacy Movements. As he recalled his experiences was there a hint of a tear in his eyes? He makes it a point to provide support for the Vaayana Vaaram celebrations every year!

I'd initially called him by name when he said that he'd prefer my addressing him as 'Swami' because that was how my Muthachan used to call him. I was floored by his request!


1. The second day went off without glitches and the student participants seem to benefit from the programme. They've the second and final session tomorrow.
2. Today's theme, "Empowerment through e-literacy".

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