A group of boys dabbles in mini-snooker at Naya Prathmik Vidyalaya in Dombhui, Dhanbad, on Thursday. (Gautam Dey)
Swimming, shooting, magic shows and billiards are a part of the summer schedule of most children these days. But not for the 300 living in and around the command area of Maithon Power Limited in Nirsa, Dhanbad district.
So, Thursday was special when these youngsters trooped to Naya Prathmik Vidyalaya at Dombhui, about 40km from the district headquarters, to attend a summer camp for underprivileged students.
The three-day fun event is being organised jointly by Maithon Power Limited and Whiz Mantra, an agency engaged in educating weak students in three Nirsa cradles — Madhya Vidyalaya, Palarpur; Naya Prathmik Vidyalaya, Dombhui; and Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya, Madandih. Most students taking part in the camp hailed from these schools.
Thursday’s three-hour session started at 8am with Whiz Mantra project director Sucharita Mukherjee apprising the participants of the importance of the camp. Eight instructors from the agency and CSR head of Maithon Power Limited Mritunjay Rai were also present.
The participants were divided in two categories. While the junior group comprised nearly 143 students of Classes I to IV, the senior category had 157 students of Classes V to VIII.
The senior students had a great time with bows and arrows at the shooting arena before moving on to play throw ball in the basket contest. Instructors also trained them in snooker and billiards.
Junior students, on the other hand, enjoyed a magic performance and a flower show. The children also beat the heat at an artificial pool on the school premises.
Fifth grader Bapi Mahto (11) couldn’t contain his glee. “I played billiards for the first time in my life and the experience was really interesting,” he said.
Class VIII student Ajay agreed. “At our village, we enjoy shooting with bows and arrows made from bamboo. It was fun to lay our hands on special bows and arrows at this camp,” smiled the student of Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya, Madandih.
Project director of Whiz Mantra Sucharita Mukherjee said: “The aim was to give these less privileged students a much-needed break from their regular schedule by engaging them in a host of activities.”
Regular remedial lessons are being imparted to weak students living in and around the region since December 15, 2013, under a joint venture of Maithon Power Plant and Whiz Mantra. As many as 538 students of Classes I to VIII of Nirsa are presently being taught under the project.
These include 74 from Naya Prathmik Vidyalaya; 250 from Madhya Vidyalaya, Palarpur; and 214 from Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya. Classes are held daily from 6am to 11am.