One of our champions, Neela Gupta wrote to us recently to tell us about a storytelling session she conducted on Children’s Day.
Children’s day was a fun and a happy day for me and the children.Thanks to Pratham books! I had a group of 9 urban English medium school going children who were delighted to read Gujarati books because they dont get to read many Gujarati storybooks outside their syllabus. Children loved ‘Vartaon nu shahar’ a lot. They also laughed and laughed while reading ‘Dhabane dhoya rakshash’. They wanted to read on their own which I encouraged.
Another programme was for an underprivileged children’s group who have already known Pratham books since the International girl child day
. They were excited to see more books and some of them had already seen and read the story of ‘Vartao nu shahar’. A girl called Chandrika who was confident and could read as well as narrate well came forward to take up the story telling. She did it beautifully. We then decided to divide ourselves in groups of three (there were 19 children) and each group had to make up their 2 minute story and had to enact it in front of the whole group. The group could then give them feedback. This process is still not complete. Only 2 groups could finish it. but I expect to let all groups present their story in about a week’s time.
I am in love with this activity as I am also learning something each time and more importantly I am connecting to them more intimately.
And yes, these stories are also enjoyed by my husband, son, neighbors and some visitors who happen to see the books lying around.
Neela has worked as a librarian for about 30 years in different kinds of libraries (research library, an industrial library, a public library, a college library and school libraries). According to Neela, this is her longest and most enjoyable tenure of work is with 5 different school libraries. It gave her a chance to be with children and try to understand the world of children ranging from age group of 6 – 18 years. She has learnt a lot from watching and interacting with them. Neela has also volunteered with different underprivileged groups and tried to introduce them to the world of books. She says, “This kind of work gives me immense pleasure. I feel it connects me to a marvelous world of magic where there is some new discovery everyday. It also helps me explore myself and my relationship with children and adults.” You can also read about the last event that Neela conducted here.