In Focus: A learning centre that seeks to spark the minds of the young
After having lived in the United States, when Niranjan Vasireddy came back to India, he was surprised when his son came to him with a fake-sword and talked about slaying and killing, “I realised that it wasn’t him, it was the kind of television he was watching with gore and violence. I decided to do something about it,” says Niranjan who started a ‘children’s museum’, Kidihou in Kondapur.
Amidst the concrete jungle, the colours are hard to miss, bright greens, yellows and blues, step in and you’ll want to be a child again. The museum is spread over two floors and is more of an activity centre, but what sets the place apart is the use of eco-friendly material, all hand-made. This includes, chandeliers made out of cups, décor made out of pencil shavings and paper shreds.
The museum has various spots, the ball coaster is a science experiment which teaches young children about gravity, there’s a construction corner where kids can connect different pipes. There is a small supermarket where children buy and bill their own products with a cute little cash register and barcode scanner. Stop over at the clinic where kids can learn about the concept of pulse rate and more. “The focus is on early childhood learning in everything, not just science. We want to stimulate their curiosity and help them develop cognitive and social skills,” says Niranjan who claims to always have had the entrepreneurial bug in him.
“I always wanted to give back to the community and I have one life to make it happen,” he says. He mentions of how education has become only about rote learning, instead of learning by doing and actually understanding concepts. “We still have a mindset where we worry about the one mark that child loses, instead of the 99 he has gained,” he says. Kidihou is meant for children between the ages of one and eight.
“We ask that parents take time out and ‘hang-out’ at Kidihou once a month or once a week and enjoy all that we have here. Let the children learn at their own pace and work with things that engage their creative senses,” says Niranjan. The mantra at Kidihou is to ‘observe, question and reason’. “Children have a lot of energy and this is aimed to help them and guide them towards the right part of whole-learning,” says Niranjan and adds, “We hardly have inventions and innovations coming up in our country, and we must try and spark that train of thought in kids.”
Here’s a quick question, there are two balls — one is a plastic ball (lighter) and one is a golf ball (heavier), which one do you think will fall first? If you are over 14 and don’t know the answer, maybe you should visit Kidihou.
What: Kidihou, a children’s museum
Where: Plot 5 and 6, Sanjeev Enclave, Whitefields, Above Medplus, Kondapur
When: 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 10a.m. to 8p.m. on weekends. The museum remains closed on Tuesdays.
Contact: 040-23004348, 77879741