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Bringing children closer to the literary world

Kusum Kanojia, Nov 21, 2012

On the occasion of National Book Week and with an aim to encourage book reading and literature among children and general masses, a three-day festival, featuring a host of interesting events such as storytelling session, treasure hunt and other events, was held recently.

Organised by Cinedarbaar in collaboration with National Book Trust at DLF Place, Saket, ‘Qitaabe’ saw the release of ‘Waves’, a compilation of short stories written by children aged 13- 17 years.

A storytelling session by Simi Srivastava from Kathashala who narrated stories in innovative ways kept her audience, especially children engrossed. A library of 150 books and ‘Poetree’ installation put up at the mall drew, children and adult, book lovers.
Inspired by Yoko Ono’s project, a plant kept at the venue ensured that kids could write poems and hang them on it with their names.

Show and Tell kept children engrossed in writing and reading. They had to pick up objects like stones, leaves etc from a box and come up with a story around it. Supriya Suri, director, Cinedarbaar, said, “It is great way of helping children develop the art of creating a story by using objects lying around, which usually go unnoticed but are effective tools and source of ideas for story writing..”

A typewriter at the venue allowed children to type whatever they wanted. “In this digital age where everything is touch-screen and hands-free, children and adults alike have forgotten the age old practice of typing with paper and ink. It was a new experience for children who were introduced to the ancient keyboard,” said Supriya.

All the events aimed at drawing urban children towards books, reading and literary activities. Kanchan Wanchoo Sharma, Editor, NBT said November 14 marks Childrens’ Day which is celebrated on birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru who founded NBT. “We promote book reading throughout the year but this week is dedicated to children. For the first time, we have organised a literary event at a mall because we can tap different section of people, especially urban children,” she said.

“The children of cities are usually into reading but prefer Mills and Boons, science fictions and thrillers. The purpose is to develop their interest in other kinds of books also. On the contrary, children in rural areas read anything that is available including non-fiction because they don’t have access to libraries, e-books etc.,” she added.


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