Aswathy is a Kerala state team player of softball and throwball. Amal is an actor who was recognised as the junior-most artiste in the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK) two years ago. Ardra and Pavithra are also actors, appearing in short films and performing in theatre. All four of them are from Chilla, a childrenâ€™s home in Thiruvananthapuram, for children needing care and support. All four of them are now celebrating their victory in the Class 10 SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) exams, whose results were announced on Wednesday.
â€śAswathy has scored A+ in all subjects. Ardra and Pavithra got A+ in nine subjects and A in one. Amal got a few A+, B+ and B, he is more into acting and sports,â€ť says Anil, the founder of Chilla. They are the only four students who appeared for the SSLC exams from Chilla this year. â€śWe hadnâ€™t taken on kids after the coronavirus struck last year. Even the children who were staying in Chilla were sent home during COVID-19, to be safe,â€ť Anil adds.
Chilla was hosting 17 children before that, all coming from difficult circumstances, financially or socially. Most are from broken families, Anil says. â€śThere are children who grew up here and completed their BTech degrees or Polytechnic courses. Our children are generally encouraged to develop their multiple talents. They would be active in extracurricular activities. Even the four SSLC students who scored so well now are very much into artistic work and sports. They worked in a short film called Kuranganum Meenum (Monkey and Fish) together. Aswathy was the editor of the film and Amal played the hero. Pavithra and Ardra also had roles in the film,â€ť says a proud Anil.
Watch: Kuranganum Meenum, the short film made by Chilla children
Chilla was founded in 2000 to be a safe place for children who come from difficult circumstances. The organisation's main aim is to provide education for the children. They are also given mental health support.