“What should I do to become a Judge?” “Why is there a social disparity in the society?” “Why are basic amenities not ensured to the downtrodden?” “Will Tasmac shops be closed for good?,” were some of the questions posed to distinguished guests by tribal children aged 10 to 15. They came for a five-day residential summer camp that began here, on Saturday.
The camp aimed at building leadership skills among adolescent tribal children was inaugurated by Madras High Court Judge G.R.Swaminathan at the Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer Community Hall. The event began with an ice-breaker games that saw the judge and the children participate with equal liveliness.
Addressing the children, Mr. Swaminathan said discipline was key to success. He advised the students to listen to their parents and study well. With the camp focusing on addressing key issues like adolescence, child rights and gender equality, he asked the children to make the best use of the camp and hoped it would be an eye-opener for them.
V. Jeevanantham, president of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement, advised the children to be bold and never be shy to speak. He said that it was important for the children to get exposure on such key issues. “Let the camp be a learning curve and boost self-confidence”, he told the children.
Offering a five-point guide to children on self-confidence, State Bank of India, Anna Nagar Branch Manager S. Akila told the children that they have to set goals for themselves and aim to achieve them. She said that it was important to be clear of doubts.
“When in doubt ask and clarify it. Don’t keep it within yourself”, she said and added that this would help in boosting self-confidence and building leadership. She also advised the children to learn English as the present scenario demanded it.
Advocate and member of Madurai Juvenile Justice Board S. Balasundari asked the children to develop a good friends circle, which would, in turn, help them in choosing the right path. Following the inaugural address, the guests answered queries raised by children on career prospects and social disparity.
Around 80 students from Madurai, Dindigul, Theni and Virudhunagar are participating in the camp that will bring exposure on leadership, gender equality, child rights, and mental and reproductive health.
A. Mahboob Batcha of Society for Community Organisation Trust (SOCO) and S. Selva Gomathi, Managing Trustee of SOCO Trust, welcomed the guests.
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