The swim and survive campaign, aimed at imparting basic swimming skills to children, will soon be introduced in Thiruvananthapuram. The sports directorate has already submitted a proposal to the state government for bringing the scheme to the city. The programme is now being successfully run in schools in Kottayam.
An official of the sports directorate said the campaign was mooted in the backdrop of rising drowning cases. “Of late there have been several instances of death by drowning in many areas of Thiruvananthapuram. That is why we have decided to extend the scheme to the city. The project will be approved this week itself,” an official said.
Officials plan to introduce the scheme in the first week of July. The list of schools where the programme will be introduced is being prepared. Initially the scheme will be launched at Model School and SMV School. Under the programme the directorate will procure portable swimming pools for government-aided schools that will be selected for the scheme.
The training will be conducted using pools – made of thick vinyl – measuring 30×12 feet (approximately 400 square feet). The scheme draws inspiration from similar projects successfully implemented in Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam. Over one lakh children were taught swimming in portable pools introduced by International Drowning Research Centre in Bangladesh. There will be separate pools for boys and girls once the programme is extended to other schools in the city.
Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS) will assist in implementing this programme. “The government will seek the assistance of trained RLSS volunteers to teaching swimming. Separate sessions will be arranged in the morning and evening in addition to drill periods. Interested children from neighbouring areas can also join the programme. The duration of training may vary from three months to six months,” the official said.
The project cost is Rs 17 lakh. “The main advantage of this scheme is that you don’t need a swimming pool. Also, once training is completed in one school, the pool can be transported to other schools,” the official added.
News Sourced from “The Times of India“