Off the road, and hence online
Lockdown has been really harsh on the children. “The whole routine has gone for a toss now. For a week, it was fine. But after that they were overtaken with boredom and needed something to keep them busy while at home,” said Srilakshmi, a mother of 2 boys from Gandhi Nagar.
Luckily, many of the classes and workshops have gone online to keep the kids engaged. Adyar Times checked out how it was all working.
Communitree, Thiruvanmiyur, has started conducting many of their workshops and classes online. “While previously, we could only take 25 - 30 students per batch, we are now able to take in around 100, while the actual request actually exceeds 200. Classes are conducted over Zoom and we share questions and photos over WhatsApp. There is no lack in the excitement of children. We are also able to connect to multiple people, like in the last session we had the ‘Butterfly Boy’ Sharon and it got everyone excited,” said Hafiz Khan from Communitree.
Keertana, a 7-year old participant of one of the Communitree workshops, excitedly talks about her plants she is growing following the online classes, “It was wonderful because I have never seen my face on the computer before!”
Yoga classes have also gone online. Patanjali Yoga, Gandhi Nagar, and Sai Siddha Samadhi
Yogashram, with multiple centres in Adyar, has been conducting live sessions for its students even before the lockdown started. Ramakrishnan from Patanjali Yoga elaborated, “We are also conducting one-on-one sessions for beginners and will continue to have online sessions regularly.”
Parents were elated when arts and crafts classes also went online. “When school starts, they are likely to have Saturday classes also to catch up with the syllabus. We need not worry about pending art classes that time,” said a parent of Global Art. Art Splash, Global Art and SIP Academy have many students who have joined their sessions, but many others who are at their native are unable to join because of lack of equipment or materials. “Almost 80% of children are already online. All instructors working from home are putting in five times more the effort,” said Sanjeev Menon, Head of Skills and Engagement for SIP.
The centres said that they may not continue with the online sessions after the lockdown as personal attention and guidance is required for all, especially the beginners.
The lockdown has shown a way for centres to expand their horizons. While for some, it is a temporary one, for others, it has given wings to fly out.