While the importance of traditional school-based education cannot be denied, it is important to develop other facets of life. Hence, artistic and sporting activities are recent additions to the extra-curricular activities at UCH, which have so far been very well received.
For the older children to develop an appreciation for traditional arts, they attend weekly dance and music classes. Bharatanatyam, one of the oldest and most popular forms of classical Indian dance, is taught at UCH. The girls with an aptitude for singing learn Carnatic Sangeet, a form of classical vocal music from South India, while the boys are given lesson in the Mridangam, a double-sided drum. In 2009 one child took part in an music competition held in Chennai. He was awarded with second prize in Musical Instrument performance. In January 2010 some of the children were requested to perform a cultural show in front of the community leaders, parents and Teacher’s Association. This performance was extremely well received.
Currently, the main sporting activity that the UCH children participate in, apart from the the physical education (PE) classes held at school, is the bi-weekly karate lessons which is now going on its fifth year. They learn self-defense, and discipline, besides being a means of exercise. Some of the children have progressed up to Black Belt level. In 2010 the children competed in a State level Karate Championship. Most of the children won prizes in different events and they won the girls’ team championship. The children won 5 gold, 7 silver and 17 copper medals.
Plans are underway to build a sports field on the UCH land. to provide a running and athletics track, and a field to eventually enable the children to play volleyball, basketball, soccer, cricket, hockey, and other sports.
We are currently seeking funds to help with the sports field, and also to give the children access to drama classes to add to their artistic education. If you would like to help us in this area, please visit our donations page, or contact us for more information.