Aspirations run high among kids here

Study time: Teachers Sandhya Rani and Noor Fathima seen with the kids of mahouts and kavadis at the tent school in the palace premises. dh photos by Prashant H G

Come Dasara and the palace premises is abuzz with activity with elephants arriving in batches, erecting tents for the families of mahouts and kavadis and philanthropists and district administration distributing clothing and other essential materials.

But the prime attraction of all is the tent school for children of mahouts and kavadis, who camp in the city for approximately two months.

While some were seen thoroughly enjoying their moments right in front of the Amba Vilas Palace, some others were dutifully attending the tent school, learning rhymes and craft.

The tin-roofed tent erected amid the breezy palace campus has two teachers, who play an important role in moulding the students when they are out of their native place.

The bright-eyed students at the camp are all shy but are keen to learn and grasp the English words pronounced by teachers - Sandya Rani and Noor Fathima of Government Urdu LPS Feelkhana, Chamaraja Mohalla.

Speaking to City Herald, they said in unison that the children are innocent but are very enthusiastic in learning new things. It is their second outing to Mysore for a few students and others are all new. Sandya said, the main objective of conducting the tent school is to maintain the attendance of the students, who are out of school for two months.

Students from first to seventh standard attend tent schools and it is important to keep them in touch with their studies during this time.

Stress is laid on cleanliness and hygiene and they are taught how and why they should wash their hands with soap before eating. Importance of eating clean, healthy food and maintain tidiness by combing their hair are also taught to them, said Fathima.

About 25 students have arrived at the camp this year, and the students are quite moody.

They attend classes when they feel like  and it is quite difficult to catch hold of them. The teachers also try all tricks to attract them by offering snacks, food, sweets, so that they attend classes regularly. On an average about 10 to 15 students attend classes every day.

Interacting with some of the children attending classes it was clear that they were very shy. When coaxed, their ambitions and interests came to the fore.

Seema, studying fifth standard at Maruvur, Thithimathi, was trying to look mature through her dress and had adorned her hair with colourful ‘sevanthi’. She wants to study and become a teacher, as she has a great respect for the profession.

Abhi, from Dubare forest, is a fourth standard student and it is his first time to Mysore and had just landed here on Wednesday along with the second batch of jumbos. He loves films and had been to watch Shivrajkumar starrer ‘Jogaiah’.

Savitha, with a sweet smile was dressed brightly with a matching rubber band on her plaits was clear in her views. She is also from Dubare and is dreaming of becoming a doctor and has a fascination for the doctor’s apron. There is no woman doctor in her village and she wants to fill it.

Sanjan, studying third standard, looked very ambitious and is a huge fan of Darshan. He knows the names of quite a few heros in movies and wants to become an actor and fight the villains.

Maadhu from Balle, who is studying in third standard, had visited the city last year. He is also inspired by his teachers here and wants to pursue teaching in future. He loves sight seeing and to travel in a vehicle.

Kiran, a seventh standard student at Vivekananda Girijana Kendra, Hosahalli, is quite aware of the developments, thanks to television sets at school. He is interested in sports and wants to learn more and become a sportsperson like captain cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

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