YOUNG WORLD

Creative best

VANAJA VARMA

Marching towards a bright future!

Marching towards a bright future!  

KOCHI

Children need to remain as children — spontaneous, joyful, imaginative and full of zeal. The "Thiruvathira nalukettu" at Tripunithura recently saw about 60 children, aged 6-14 years, get together for the one-day recreational camp "Kaliveedu" organised by Kishat Study Circle, a private club for youth. The resource persons imparted lessons in human values, nature care, communication and culture in a friendly family atmosphere. There were group exercises and laughter sessions. The idea was to teach the children "to learn to live" by developing their spontaneous expressive ability and to help them understand themselves and one another in better light.

"Learning through play has a dramatic effect on children," says Antony Joseph, a theatre person who has specialised in direction and is a product of the Thrissur School of Drama. "Children's recreational workshops ought to be conducted on a regular basis. Sensitising them to social issues like pollution, gender discrimination and ecological awareness builds up their sense of responsibility, thus increasing their self-worth and productivity. This has a direct bearing on society." Another resource person who became one with the children was Shankaran, a retired headmaster presently working with the children's wing of the Kerala Shasthra Sahitya Parishad. He actively involved the children in story-telling and in reciting rhymes and riddles using appropriate gestures and voice modulations. According to Shankaran, even riddles have their place in influencing the mindset of children — they encourage them to think and analyse bit by bit. Similarly, by repetition, the morals and messages sink deep into their subconscious minds and remain etched in their memories forever. He believes that whatever a child learns, be it a lesson in wisdom, humour or positive thinking, the child learns only through encouragement and enactment and never by imposition or infliction.

The highlight of the workshop was the interactive story-telling session by Manu Jose, a well-known theatre-person. He is the creative director of a performing company named "Me and You" that tours all over the State, specialising in the art of extensive and expressive story telling. Jose kept the children spellbound with his intimate and powerful presentation interwoven with songs and dialogues in the backdrop of simple musical accompaniments like the flute and the banjo. Jose feels that children should be left to draw their own conclusions. He carefully selects stories from all cultures around the world with underlying morals of love, peace and trust.

According to Jose, story telling fosters compassion, humanness and tolerance. It also helps to instil moral values, sensitises them on varying views, develops the skills of imagination, visualisation and concentration and motivates them into reading as well.

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