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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

During lockdown ~ SYMA conducts Online Essay Competition for School Children

Year 2020 has unfolded newer threats ~ the dreaded Corona Virus (Covid 19) has changed the way people live.  From Mar 24, the Country is under lockdown – and by adopting saner methods, the spread has been somewhat controlled.  We look positively forward to a happier ending, perhaps the evolution of effective vaccine and the threat getting totally contained, if not eliminated.

Today, there is news that the Govt is mulling ways to re-open schools that have been closed ever since March when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.  As we all know, TN Govt (as alo other States) cancelled examinations – and there is some news that schools may not be reopened before Dec 2020 !   

SYMA has an unsaturated desire for serving the Society.  SYMA [Srinivas Youngmen’s Association]  has been in the field of Social service since 1977.  In 2019, we prospered to having a new bigger premises for our Medical centre and started providing multi-specialty treatment  ~   We have : General physician consultation and free medicines (Rs. 2 since 1989), Blood analysis lab, Gynecological consultation, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Eye clinic – all under one roof – added private Doctor for ENT ; Pediatrics   and Ortho. We have another initiative – providing quality educational support to poor students – SYMA Growth since 2008.  

Sad, things are at a stand-still as we could not continue the services during Covid 19. During Covid stressful times, everyone is undergoing different types of stress – of health, of being alone, of not being able to do what they had been doing normally, office pressures, work related; financial troubles; family related and more. This is testing time for students too – being at home, not pursuing education.

SYMA mooted an idea of ensuring connect with students and keeping them busy.  We initiated an Online essay competition seeking ‘Hand-written essays of not more than 500 words’ from students of 8th to 12th standards on the theme – *‘Future of Education System post Covid 19’*.  The aim was to keep the students engaged, make them stay positive  and if some real good ideas emerge – the same can be shared with Authorities as well.   Since it was during lockdown – it was a technology driven contest.  Candidates had to register, would receive a link, download and upload their essays on line.   We are really happy in sharing that though this contest was open for a fortnight only – it attracted 90 entries.  Students from far and wide from rural Tamil Nadu, Bangalore, Mumbai, Varanasi and other countries (Indian children living there) – Dubai & USA. 

The contest was conceptualized by our TJ Ramani & Sanjeevi Ragunathan, entirely handled brilliantly by Mrs Jayasudha Sanjeevi.  Essel Narasimha, TA Sathya Narayanan, Mrs Anuradha, TA Sampathkumar, Mrs Saranya & S. Sampathkumar did the initial appraisal – while the final analysis was done by famous History novelist writer, Kalachakra TA Narasimhan, Managing Editor, The Hindu.  Special thanks are due to Mr TAN for picking up the winners in a very short time.  In his words, “ the winners have  written extremely well;  they have ploughed deep into the topic and analysed seriously without eyeing the prize. In fact, when I read these three essays, I could sense that they were more concerned about the future of  education, than in winning the prizes. Using flowery language and ornamental words does not help to make an essay readable. The points should flow like a river and mingle with the ocean of thoughts. And these three have excelled in that.”

Hearty Congratulations to the winners :

1. L. Abhinav (Kendriya Vidhyalaya,  Adyar)

2. Rupali Rai  (Central Hindu Girls School, Varanasi )

3. Amoha Venkataraman (Brigade School, Bengaluru ) 

There are special prizes too – on a different note Ms. Sriamathi R is selected as winner for presenting her essay in Tamil.  She is from Kamaraj School, Chidambaram.

SYMA thanks the winners, parents, our patrons, Judges, Mr TA Narasimhan and all others involved in this.  A Big Thank you to all ~ Corona may keep people inside homes, yet there is always opportunity to connect and stay optimistic, constructive and confident

With regards – S. Sampathkumar,

Secretary, SYMA







  1. Very nice.. will the selected ones be published

  2. .. really great work done by both syma and participants

  3. Very good... really great work both syma and participants

  4. Now that those restrictions are easing how are you coping with lockdown? Are you ready to revert back to 'normal' or do you need a little time to decide what you want, to readjust and regain your trust in the outside world? Lockdown tips