Little laureates from Pune.

Last Sunday, Sandhya Taksale, our editor from Pune was in a slum area called Gosavi basti in Kothrud area of Pune. Shobha Bondre (author) and Vijaya Joshi (retired govt officer) have been running a library here from January 2012.  A couple of months back, they purchased some of our books. Knowing both these enthusiastic ladies she was eager to know the feedback. Recently, they had announced an essay competition on ‘My favourite book’ for the children in the basti. Sandhya was present at the prize distribution event and she also read the essays and interacted with the children there. These little children were a bunch of enthusiastic, smart, bold and even little aggressive. It was a mixed age group from 6 to 13 years.

It was a delight to see three of our books listed in the favourite list.
1) See you tomorrow
2) Not now, Not now
3) Smart Sona

While most kids wrote the essay based on the story of the books they had read. However, during the interactive chat the children reasoned why the liked that particular book. While some liked the story element and Sona’s smartness in ‘Smart Sona’, others liked the fun and surprise element in ‘Not Now, Not now’. The drama and surprise was the main reason why children loved the book ‘See you tomorrow’.

The prize winning essay was nicely written and the boy could connect the book to his everyday life. Dashrath Gaawade, grade 6, wrote about the book ‘Shyamchi Aai’, a classic in Marathi by late Sane Guruji. Dashrath said that earlier he behaved rudely with his mother, always argued and hardly listened to her. After reading this book, his behaviour towards his mother changed. He realized, what a mother means to a child.

Sandhya also mentioned about another prize winning essay from Anjali Dhage, grade 7. Her essay was based on the book ‘Annavishayi sare kahi’ (All about Food). She mentioned that her father is very fussy about food. He always complained saying that the food was not tasty. Most often, this argument lead to abuse and fights with her mother. Anjali read this book and it was about the nutritional value of food with some recipes. She told her mother about this and also read out the book to her.  Her mother then tried a non-veg dish from the book because her father likes mutton. Her father was very happy with the dish, her mother was happier and the girl was the happiest one. Her mother hugged her and proudly called her, ‘mazi gunachi por’ (my dearest smart daughter). Anjali narrated this incident smartly. Anjali also added that she loved reading biographies and on that day was holding the biography of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in her hands.
Sandhya had a wonderful time with these lively, bubbly and enthusiastic children.


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