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Panchayat in Kerala constructs world-class swimming pool for free coaching to children

The swimming pool at government upper primary school at Karikode in Ernakulam. Photo: Special Arrangement

The government upper primary school at Karikode, a small hamlet in Mullanthuruthy grama panchayat in Ernakulam, is now the talk of the town after the panchayat has set up a world-class swimming pool to provide free swimming lessons to all children. In fact, this grama panchayat in Kerala has shown the country how funds can be creatively utilised for setting up an infrastructure for the benefit of children and mould them into sportspersons of the future.

The panchayat decided to set up the swimming pool also considering the fact that swimming is a life saving skill and every child should have a proper facility to learn it.

The people of the panchayat are all thrilled to see the swimming pool project becoming a reality as it has been one of the dream projects of the panchayat in the last many years. The swimming pool which has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.55 crore was officially inaugurated by national swimming champion Liana Fathima on Saturday.

According to panchayat officials, the pool has a length of 25 metres and width of 12 metres. The inauguration was followed by 25 & 50m freestyle, backstroke and 4 X 25m relay swimming competitions for school children in the state. Panchayat President Mariamma Benni and Vice President Ratheesh K Divakaran are the key persons who are behind the project.

Mariamma Benny told “Open Digest” that the swimming pool project was conceived with a mission to ensure that all children in the panchayat learn swimming.

“Children must learn to swim. Many accidents occur when children venture into water without knowing how to swim. We have handed over the upkeep of the pool to a group of experienced trainers. While children of our panchayat will be trained free of cost, the children from other panchayats can train at our pool by paying a monthly fee of Rs 500,” she said.

The pool also has additional special facilities for changing clothes for women, men and children.

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