Kerala

Author narrates stories to children, on big screen

Students of Narayana Vilasam Upper Primary School, Anchal, listen to author Sumangala at an online storytelling session.

Students of Narayana Vilasam Upper Primary School, Anchal, listen to author Sumangala at an online storytelling session.  

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Sumangala takes part in online session organised by school to instil in children a taste for literature

While their peers are mostly hooked onto cartoons and computer games, the students of Narayana Vilasam Upper Primary School, Anchal, are getting a chance to relish folk tales and fables exclusively curated for them. In a bid to revive the tradition of ‘Muthassi Kathakal’ the school has launched online storytelling sessions. The students were joined by Sumangala, one the most popular authors of children’s literature in Malayalam, for the first session.

The 84-year-old author narrated a string stories from her popular collections that include ‘Mithayippoti’ and ‘Neypayasam’ and answered their queries in an interactive session.

“We have been trying to inculcate a taste for literature in students and encourage creative writing. Nowadays, instead of narrating stories, parents use smart phones to entertain children. Listening to stories is an crucial for shaping their creativity and communicative skills. That prompted us to host such sessions,” says Manu Mohan, teacher.

Questions, answers

The award-winning author, who has to her credit a spate of top-selling books, was quite cooperative when the school authorities approached her.

A team from the school visited the writer currently residing in Thrissur for the online session, which the students watched on the large screens in their classrooms. Answering a student in the interactive session, she recounted her early days as an author and how she ended up publishing her first book in the 1970s.

Originally Leela Nambudiripad, she explained how she chose the pen-name Sumangala, taking a cue from the name of her ancestral home Deshamangalathu Mana. When asked about her advice to children, the author said all her messages were woven into her stories and she did not believe in pointing them out.

600 students take part

Around 600 students from Class 4 to Class 7 participated in the storytelling session. Though the school authorities had invited writers like Thulasi Kottukkal to share their experiences and insights with the students earlier, this was the first online session.

“We are taking up all possible measures to develop their literary skills. Our students have bagged prizes at revenue district arts festivals and many of them have published their works in Balasahithya Institute’s Thaliru magazine. This session could create a lasting impact among students and we are planning to make it a regular affair,” adds Mr. Manu.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:18:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/author-narrates-stories-to-children-on-big-screen/article30552306.ece

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