Need to bring children closer to books stressed

Remember the good old days when story-telling came naturally to elders in the house without any effort.

Parents or grandparents told bedtime stories, mostly with a moral, not just to put the kids to sleep.

The stories helped children remember lessons and virtues that they used in everyday life.

“These stories offer simple messages that explain the rights and wrongs of each character’s actions. Unfortunately, this ‘maukhika sahityam’, the unwritten history of story-telling which percolated from grandparents to the grandchildren, is missing today,” rued incharge Director of Akasavani, Vijayawada and children’s writer M. Krishna Kumari, on Tuesday.

She was addressing a meeting organised in connection with release of two children’s books – Pette lo Pelli Kuturu’ (Bride in a casket) and ‘Shibu ki Ganta Dorikindi’, (Shibu the Sheep) as part of the ongoing Vijayawada Book Festival at PWD Grounds.

Emphasising the need to bring children closer to books, she said authors writing for kids must keep pace with changing times and write about things that captivate the present day generation kids. Urging the National Book Trust to focus on publication of science and environment-related books, she said people who were responsible for import of the pizza, burger, ice-cream and cakes culture must also think of importing the practice of story-telling.

Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Grandhalaya Samstha T. Kutumba Rao said children’s literature which thrived in the past, was on the wane. “Today’s kids are clearly deviating and the main sources of distraction are five ‘C’s,” he said, and went on to explain: “Computer, cell phone, cinema, cricket and channel (TV channel) are mainly responsible for ushering in a decadent culture,” he said.

Mr. Kutumba Rao shifted the blame to their parents, who, he said, had failed to infuse interest in their wards in Telugu language and its rich culture.

Children’s writer Velaga Venkatappaiah said books published by the NBT were not percolating to the lower end of society.

Gollapudi Krishna Kumari, the translator of ‘Pette lo Pelli Kuthuru’ and NBT’s Telugu wing editor P. Mohan were also present.

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