New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Learn football from Bhaichung Bhutia's academy or theatre from Barry John's acting school. From dramatics and sports to painting, dancing and cooking, a range of summer workshops is set to not only keep youngsters occupied but also help them explore their talent, away from the rigours of academics.
'For many children, summer camps provide their first chance to participate in, learn, discover and explore new things and make new friends. It helps them in the long run,' said socialite Shabnum Sen, the mother of a seven-year-old boy.
'By sitting at home, watching TV and playing all day long, kids restrict themselves to the same timetable,' she added.
Summer camps often rejuvenate children who can join school with newly mastered skills. Schools in Delhi and Mumbai are either closed already or will be closed in a week. Colleges here too are closed for the peak summer months.
Alex Theatrical Academy is one such workshop in the capital, which trains children with theatrical skills.
'We have two batches. The first has already started from May 2 and will go on till May 13. This batch is for the age group between 13 and 19. From May 16, we are starting another workshop which will be on till May 27. Children in the age-group of 8 to 12 will get training in drama and acting classes,' said Krishan Rawat, head of Alex Theatrical Academy in Greater Kailash.
'The admission fee is Rs.1,500 per child with the last date of enrolling being May 11. There are 24 seats in total and it is completely based on a first-come, first-served basis.'
If you feel your child has a flair for dramatics, you can also try the Barry John Acting Studio at Ashok Vihar in Delhi and Andheri in Mumbai, for which the age group is 8-17 yrs.
'The workshop will happen five days a week (Monday-Friday) from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. For those who enrolled before May 5, the fee was Rs.8,000, after that it's Rs.10,000 and there are just 30 seats. The workshop is from May 16 to June 18,' Anand Khilani of the studio told IANS.
Those who have missed these places can check out events lined up at Habitat World, India Habitat Centre (IHC).
'The workshop varies from acting, dancing, singing to cooking and reading,' said Rakesh Gupta, head of department, academics and research, IHC.
' 'Word Your Thoughts - A Creative Writing Workshop' by Sarika Singh is scheduled from May 14 to May 21 for the kids in the age group of 7-10 years. Then there is Stagecraft & Storytelling Workshop by Tadpole Repertory from May 16 to May 27,' he said.
'Also, June 1-7, there will be a programme called Actors In Their Own Write by Jaimini Pathak & Nayantara Roy. The fee for a single workshop is Rs.2,000,' said Rakesh.
National School of Drama (NSD) and Shri Ram Centre in the capital are places to get in touch with for theatre workshops in May-June.
For children with a technical brain, the National Science Centre is offering summer workshops on toy-making, mathematical origami and astronomy.
Dwarka and Gurgaon residents can check out Tranzition Institute for Excellence, a workshop focussing on building the communication skill of children and helping improve their public speaking and confidence level.
Sports enthusiasts can approach the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School (BBFS), which provides a three-week soccer camp where Portuguese coaches train children.
'Our camps will have five days a week class from June 6 to 24 at our IIT Delhi centre. Under the supervision of our Portuguese coaches, these camps are designed to help young players improve their existing football skills while having the maximum fun,' said Anurag Khilnani, caretaker of the workshop.
Though these workshops have limited seats, organisers say they not only provide the right exposure to children but are also a profitable business for them.
'The months of May and June are considered the peak season for the workshop business, be it in the field of academics (tutorial centres), athletics, or arts (cooking, art, dance, and creative writing classes),' said Ketaki Rana, who runs the dance workshop Ketaki Natya Kala in Mumbai for children in the 6-15 age group.
'Normally, if we conduct the same workshop during school days, there is hardly any profit. But during these months, business increases by 40 to 50 percent. But, yes, we never compromise when it comes to providing the best to the children and this is the reason why we keep limited seats,' said Ketaki.
(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)