Chennai, Oct 9: Thousands of children in Tamil Nadu were today initiated into the world of letters on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadasami, invoking the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi, the Goddess of Learning.
Hundreds of parents and children thronged the Saraswathi Temple, the only one of its kind in India, at Tuticorin where special poojas were performed and tiny tots initiated into formal education.
Parents, holding the kids' right index fingers, wrote the first two Tamil letters -- Ah and Aah--on paddy grains.
Similar poojas were held in many temples across the State, including Salem, Erode and Chennai.
In rural areas, a festive atmosphere prevailed as locals celebrate induction of kids into schools as a local festival.
In Chennai, several primary and matriculation schools formally inducted the children at the pre-kg level.
A UNI correspondent who visited various schools in and around the city witnessed special poojas being conducted to mark the auspicious occasion. Similar, functions were organised in temples also.
Mr Purushothaman, Principal and Ms Kalaiarasi, Vice Principal of Everwin Matriculation Higher Secondary School at suburban Kolathur told the sources 100 children were today initiated into the world of education.
Since the admissions were only allowed at the beginning of the academic year, the school management sought special permission from the government to admit the children on Vijayadasami Day.
'Aksharabyasam' or intiation into learning on this day is believed to lead to a successful student career.
To mark the occasion, the school management put up three giant screens showing computer games with 3-d sound to attract the students to the classrooms.
After prayers, special poojas were performed to invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi and sweets were distributed to parents and kids.
Teachers taught the kids the English letter A and Tamil letter 'Ah' using slates and chalks,Mr Purushothaman said.
Since the kids were coming to school for the first time, most of them were crying and screaming. After 30 to 60 minutes they were sent home.
In several schools, parents were seen waiting in the hot sun to take their wards back home.