Chennaiite to organise traditional games fest for children

Varsha Satyan

Chennai: At a time and age when parents of post-modern families seldom get time to spend with their children, the need to pay attention to them is being emphasised more and more.

Alas, it is a vicious circle and runs in loop. Why? The penetration of gadgets is seen as a tool to keep the child engaged. Amid this, here is a wonder mom, Varsha Satyan, who is trying to bridge the gap and bring back tradition with a touch of forgotten native games through her initiative – Chutty Santhai. “The parents do not want the child to disturb them while they are busy with work, due to which they do not think of qualitative ways to engage them – instead they give them a gadget to play with. This is not parenting: instead the parents should sit with their ward and play,” says Varsha.

Pallanguzhi, a traditional game

Having conducted the first edition last year, Varsha is all pumped up to host it once again this year. While her first attempt had a bit of engaging and a mix of indoor and outdoor sporting events, this time she is keen to teach the current generation old games such as pallanguzhi, dhayam and pagadai.

“The motor skills coordination aids in child development. For instance, when the child holds the tamarind seeds in his/her palms while playing pallanguzhi, it improves the fine and gross motor skills. Similarly, five stones game enhances gross motor skills and aids in hand-eye coordination,” informs Varsha.

Asked about what was the spark, she says, “I have a five-year-old child and I sit with him to play. Although my husband and I are working parents, we have made it a point not to have a television. Whatever time we get, we spend with our child. At the same time, we cannot deny that our boy does not have screen time at all; we clarify his doubts through videos when it is inexplicable and needs visual representation to make him understand it easily.”

Additionally, the 36-year-old lactation counsellor plans to conduct innovative one-minute games for the welfare of parent and child.

“Such activities help the parent understand their wards better and change their approach if it does not suit,” Varsha says.

Varsha can be reached at [email protected]

Bhavani Prabhakar