Where children told tales...

Where children told tales...

Makkala Koota in Chamarajpet, the venue of the three-day children’s literature festival ‘Kathavana’, was bustling with activity on Thursday.

Over 200 lower and upper-primary students from various government and private schools in and around Bangalore gathered there on the first day of the event organised by Azim Premji University.

Children were seen reading novels, story books, comics, encyclopedia and other literary works. Some, who could not afford books such as encyclopedia or biographies, were seen taking notes.

Children were also seen enacting stories in groups. Many groups narrated stories among themselves. Others took part in crafts and other activities while many were keen to learn about folklore through puppets and dolls.

Many were interested in listening to stories narrated by facilitators. Also, some enthusiastically participated in panel discussions. Another star attraction of the event was the film screening.

Various book stalls had been set up to cater to children, teachers and parents. Books in all languages, for all age groups, were available for sale. Dolls, toys and craft materials were also available.

Speaking to Deccan Herald on the sidelines of the event, noted film director T S Nagabharana, who was the chief guest, said new-age gadgets and visual media have influenced children’s minds to a great extent. They are misusing technology and their minds are being corrupted.

He cited the example of a five year-old-boy who wished for a weapon as birthday gift. “I was shocked when he asked me for a pistol with which he could shoot his teacher,” Nagabharana said.

“He later confessed that he had seen this in a movie. Children today are well aware of high-end gadgets and cameras, but are unaware of folktales and stories. These are very important for their holistic growth.”

S V Manjunath, the State head of the Karnataka State Institute, Azim Premji Foundation, said this is the third such-instance of the Kathavana festival. The first was held at the PES campus, Electronics City, and the second at Yadgir.

Comments (+)