Camp also organizes health and dental check-ups for the children.
All the children were playing in the field. Some were on a swing, some on slides and some were engaged in performing gymnastic tricks. The park resonated with the laughter of children. This has been an everyday scene in Makkala Park in Chamrajpet for the past month. But the children’s association organizing the camp says that lack of government funds and the pandemic has resulted in reduced footfall.
“We are excited every day. There are lots of activities organized for us. We participate in all of them,” said Sanskruti, a participant of the summer camp.
All Karnataka Children’s Association which was established in 1938, has been organizing summer camps for children for the last 54 years.
“It is one of the oldest summer camps in the country,” said Yogesh (75), a volunteer at the camp.
Many activities are organized for the overall development of children like storytelling, gymnastics, drawing, yoga etc, said Darshan, another volunteer at the camp.
“All of the people who work here are volunteers. We just pay for professionals we call for the activities,” Darshan added.
The Association does not receive any grants or funding from the government.
“We do not get grants or endorsement from the government. All the activities and other things are organized using the camp fees. Along with this we receive funding and donations from some private organizations,” said MG Venkatesh, treasurer of the children’s association.
The association has been suffering due to Covid-19 pandemic. The footfall has reduced.
“We used to get more than 300 admissions every year. There used to be demands from parents to increase the number of applications. Children from different parts of Karnataka come to participate in the camp,” said Venkatesh.
He added that the camp was closed for the last two years due to Covid. and this year they just had 180 entries..Lakshmi Vishwanath, enrolled her children this year. “I came to drop them from Banashankari. I heard about the camp from my friend. It’s a very good camp for children. It engages them in physical activities and they are not always playing games on the phone.”
The reduced entries have resulted in increased fees of the camp.
“My friend said the fee was Rs. 2000 per child, but they increased it to Rs. 4000 per child this year,” Lakshmi added.
Along with activities, health and dental check-ups are organized for children during the camp. They also provide the children with first aid training and drills to fight fire. The camp is organized for children between the ages of eight to 14 years.
Aravind Kakulte, a psychologist said, “Summer camps are very good for personality development of children. They learn to socialize with people of their age. It also teaches them teamwork. They are beneficial for introverted children as they get a safe space to socialize with other children without judgment.”