Sunday 8 September 2013

Pratham Books Champion : Ramendra Kumar

This International Literacy Day, Pratham Books has taken a 1000 steps towards a 'Reading India'

What started as a small step by Pratham Books to spread the joy of reading has become a movement. Last year Pratham Books initiated the One Day-One Story initiative on the occasion of International Literacy Day and we conducted over 250 storytelling sessions. This year we are delighted that over a 1000 sessions are happening across the length and breadth of the country.We will be sharing the stories of all our champions through our blog.

This story was sent to us by Ramendra Kumar, the author of the book we chose this year (Paplu, the Giant). Ramendra Kumar (Ramen), ‘a writer by passion’, loves to write and tell tales. 23 books written by him have been published by well known names and translated into several Indian and foreign languages. His stories are not about the once upon a time or the future far away – they are in the ‘here and now’. The tales woven by him have been published in national and international anthologies and have found a place in textbooks both in India and abroad.Over the last few years the author has become a regular at the leading children's literature festivals and has also been conducting creative writing workshops across the country. To meet Ramen and other animals visit his website www.ramendra.in

The excitement was building up for Rourkela’s tryst with Paplu, the Giant! The venue was Deepika Ispat Shiksha Sadan, a school for the underprivileged.

As I entered the class room it was heartening to see around 300 kids in the age group of 5 to 12, all sitting eagerly waiting for the story to unfold. There was anticipation, suppressed excitement, there were even nervous twitters. Everything morphed into one single experience of MASTI Unlimited as Paplu made his dramatic entry and cut loose. As I acted out the story, posing queries and indulging in mad-cap histrionics, the kids pitched in beating me hands down with their unbridled energy and infectious enthusiasm. The whispers turned into shouts, screams and yells, the subtle smiles into peals of laughter and the hesitant gestures into indelible expressions of joy and happiness. The capers of Paplu and his art of fighting without fighting seemed to strike a chord in the children as they made an emphatic pitch for an encore when the story ended.

The twenty odd minutes of sheer unadulterated bliss unleashed by the innocent hearts and the gentle giant will remain etched in my memory forever….

Thanks Pratham Books for making Paplu happen!

Thank you Ramendra 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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