Monday 10 June 2013

Pratham Books Champion : Sushmita Sengupta

For International Literacy Day (8th September), we had a dream - we wished that 100 people would volunteer to conduct storytelling sessions across the country. We ended up finding more than 250 champions to conduct storytelling sessions across the country. We will be sharing the stories of all our champions through our blog.

This story was sent by Sushmita Sengupta.

Storytelling session conducted on 8th September 2012

I heard of Pratham Books, for the first time, from a friend; so when I saw this event being organised I wanted to be a Champion. I am already running my own story-sessions with neighborhood kids, in my little home-library. This idea of hundreds of sessions across the country seemed like playing an instrument in an orchestra. Like taking a challenge heads on - to turn India into a 100% literate country soon. 

The children in my session came from lower-middle class families, and are all first generation English speaking kids. But the reading session became a very interactive event. ‘Pongal’ was a new word to my kids- naturally a discussion ensued and the children spoke of parallel celebrations from Bihar and Bengal. ‘Kolam’ too is a new word, but that posed little difficulty, for the wonderfully illustrated book made it obvious. The children chimed in ‘Rangoli’ and ‘Alpana’ in unison. The older kids (boys) got excited in suggesting that they too could paint ‘Kolam’ on trains. But the most interesting part was the Air Force’s tricks. All the children seemed keen to visualize the Kolams made by the Air Force pilots! 

The children wanted more of the stories, so we read some more, after we finished ‘Susheela’s Kolam’. They planned an evening of drawing Kolams on kites, for Vishwakarma Puja. They also promised to think over and come back to me with suggestions about where else Susheela could draw more Kolams!

Thank you Sushmita for spreading the joy of reading!

View more pictures from the International Literacy Day Celebrations.

This blog contains stories sent in by all our champions. Browse through the blog for more stories. You can also go through the tags on the right side of the blog to find stories happening in your own city.

Note : If any of you want to be a Pratham Books Champion and join us on our journey of getting 'a book in every child's hand', write to us at web(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

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