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Paplu Crosses Boundaries of Word & Space
by Archana Satpathy

Paplu, the Giant, written by Ramendra Kumar and illustrated by Zainab Tambawalla was selected for story telling sessions  to mark the International Literacy Day, by its publisher Pratham Books. It is a  delightful story about a little giant who did not like to fight with anyone! The book is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Kannada.

On 7th September more than 1000 story telling sessions were held in more than 25 languages in 27 states across the country as well as  abroad. The languages included Chinese, Tibetan, Portugese, Nagamese, Mizo, Sanskrit and even sign language. Paplu reached  out to kids in Canada, USA, Nepal, Brazil, Latvia, Singapore and Mozambique.

Come September 7, and the Champions who had conducted the storytelling sessions  started  sharing the news about their events. What started as a trickle, soon turned into a deluge of mirth, madness, magic and masti. Tale telling, histrionics, art, craft, puppetry,  sprinkled liberally with dollops of creativity  made each event an endearing and enduring experience. Ramendra Kumar  conducted  a session for the underprivileged in Odia at Rourkela, Odisha.

According to the publishers interesting incidents occurred across the country –  Last year, they  were struggling to get champions from the North Eastern states and this year, 9 sessions were conducted in Arunchal Pradesh and sessions took place in 9 districts of Manipur. A small NGO working in tribal areas conducted 3 sessions in one village under Mamit district which is one of the most backward districts of Mizoram. An NGO working with mentally and physically challenged kids had such success with the storytelling sessions that similar centres from across the city asked that the kind-hearted giant 'Paplu' visit them too! Indian Development Foundation showed huge support by coordinating 110 storytelling sessions with the different organizations they work with - from Jaipur to Secunderabad, from Patna to Manali, from Leh to Bellary.

Radio Mirchi   recorded  the book through their CSR initiative Mirchi Cares. The book is available in English, Hindi and Telugu at soundcloud.com

It is indeed heartening that Paplu who believed in the art of fighting without fighting conquered hearts and minds, time and space!

16-Sep-2013
 
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