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Reading comics is now passé

DHNS,June 8,2012 20:43 IST

LOST CHARM

fading habits Given the declining trend, this picture seems to be a rarity where kids get together for a reading session.
Gone are the days when children used to swear by books, novels or even comics for that matter. It used to be an addiction for kids.

Video games and mobiles phones have taken their place. Kid’s favourite characters are no more Chacha Chaudhary, it’s the action heroes in the video games now.

Action heroes who flaunt machine guns and have blondes along with them and are on a mission to kill the enemies are the latest idols. Bloodshed and abusive language is also part of these games. But, who cares? Kids are totally fascinated by ‘this’ world.

Comics like Amar Chitrakatha, Chacha Chaudhary and Tinkle etc are associated with the culture of India and have been widely published in Hindi, other Indian languages as well as English.

India has had a long tradition of comic readership and characters from centuries-old myths and folktales from the Panchtantra have adorned the covers of children’s comic books in India for decades. Indian comics have often enjoyed huge sales; however, the industry still remains immature.

Rushil Suneja, a Std VI student, cheekily shares, “I don’t like to read comics at all. I only enjoying playing computer games or games available in the phone. Even my parents don’t buy me comic books as they know I would not read them and it would be their waste of money.”

There has been considerable debate in recent times about the negative impact that technology can have over the reading habits of students.

Other arguments support this by saying that internet and television are now used for seeking information and the habit of slow and careful reading for understanding is definitely on the wane.

The mother of a young child Vertika Singh, says, “My son doesn’t even read school books, forget comics. He is mad about toys and the latest gadgets in the market. He loves cartoons but not comics.”

Her son Devyansh Singh, says, “I like to play and not read. I have lots of toys at home and I like to buy only toys as well.” Comics were once known to be a great pastime and even a way to learn languages and improve reading skills.

The fancy graphics and colours were the main attraction for kids. Children used to have series of Chacha Chaudhary and Lotpot. It was a great way to sharpen their minds as well because some comics used to have puzzles and quizzes too. Forget the kids, even youngsters used to follow comics like Archies, Superman and Phantom avidly.

The habit of reading in children has helped children learn ethics, traditions and social courtesy and it has also helped improve concentration in children.

Children, who have grown up with comics like Amar Chitrakatha have related to Indian culture and social mores far better than those who grew up without them. Stories from the Panchtantra, related through pictures always helped ingrain the morals in a child.

It would help improve the child’s memory power. It is no wonder that this decline has also affected the behavioural patterns in kids.

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