Mysuru: There was a bevy of activity this morning in the city as children celebrated Children’s Day, remembering Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country, on his 128th birth anniversary.
The Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens popularly called Mysuru Zoo and the Dasara Exhibition Grounds saw a sea of children as authorities at both the places had announced free access to the premises like every year.
As part of Children’s Day, for the first time, the Tourism Department had organised ‘Heritage Bicycle Ride,’ in association with ‘Namma Nimma Cycle Foundation’ and District Administration. Meanwhile, Kalisu Foundation had arranged an interaction for children with the scion of Mysore royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar at the Mysore Palace.
But most of the action for children was at the Mysuru Zoo and the sprawling Dasara Exhibition Grounds. Children were seen queuing up as early as 8 am to enter the Zoo. Zoo Authority of Karnataka Chairperson Mallige Veeresh was seen distributing chocolates to children.
Five schoolchildren from JSS Bal Jagat School Manoj, Prajwal, Abhishek, Tejas and Manjesh all below the age of 12 had come on their own to the Zoo. Speaking to Star of Mysore, they said, “We are aware that today is Nehru’s birthday. We have come to the Zoo because there is free entry and we enjoy watching animals.”
Similarly, many children from Government schools were also seen coming to the Zoo on their own. The free entry to the Zoo is from 8.30 am to 1 pm and it is for children below 12 years. The parents and elders accompanying them had to pay the entry fee. Teachers from a few schools accompanied their students and were seen explaining about animals and birds.
The scene was no different at the Exhibition Grounds. The free entry to children up to 14 years saw children in high spirits as they were given biscuit packet costing Rs. 5. The Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) had bought 5,500 biscuit packets and 200 cans of 20-litre water to distribute. KEA Chairman B. Siddaraju and CEO Shashikumar were seen supervising the entry of children.
Isha, a student of fifth standard from Vidya Vahini School at Hebbal said it was her first experience of ‘Children’s Day’. “It is a very happy occasion and I will cherish this experience for a long time,” she said. Y. Chetan, a fourth standard student of K.P. Convent in Gokulam said, “Every year I go to the exhibition. Today I will go to the Zoo,” he said.
Children’s Day was also celebrated at the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing and it was organised by Department of Special Education of AIISH.