Shalini had her hands full on September 2.
As the teacher/ co-ordinator of one of the three anganwadis located close to the popular Sri Mundagakanni Amman Temple in Mylapore, she was not only welcoming some 15 kids to the centre after many, many months but also chatting with their mothers as some of their wards bawled or cried loudly.
This was the first day of their kind of ‘school’ and many were happy to be there; in fact, almost all came dressed up in their weekend best.
Anganwadis are for kids in the 2 to 5 years age group. The children spend 6 hours at the centre, are taught a few life skills meant for their age and served lunch, free of cost.
But soon after the pandemic swept the city last year, the anganwadis had to be shut down and later, the state arranged for rice and dhal packs to be supplied by people like Shalini to the kids’ families.
Now, the centres have come alive. And they will, if all goes well, warm up to some classes too.