Alice in Wonderland, is what my parents call me and the story of this nick name goes back to my childhood. Growing up, story time was my favourite time of the day. Bedtime stories evoke so many fond childhood memories! I remember eagerly waiting for my grandparents to finish their work so that they could indulge me in a story and transport me to the land where Krishna and Goldilocks are my buddies! Ah, the good old days!
What has changed with the coming of nuclear families is that a lot of children don’t know what it is like to live with grandparents and their little stories. In a way, an entire generation is missing out on a very important childhood experience.
Sarla Minni, a doting grandmother and a retired teacher based in Bengaluru is trying to reinvent bedtime stories by blending technology and tradition.
Source : scoopwhoop
The retired teacher records common and uncommon folk tales for children who don’t live with their grandparents. She shares these stories on WhatsApp to more than 6000 children across the world.
It all started when she used to record stories for her grandson, grand-nephews and nieces. Parul Rampurya, one of her nieces, shared these recordings with her friends and they soon became very popular. She suggested Minni to make it a weekly feature and share it with a wider audience.
The overwhelming response encouraged her to send her audio recordings to her subscribers on WhatsApp and this is how Kahaniwali Naani came into being.
Source : zenparent
Her 8 minute long recordings are mostly folk tales and fables.
In an interview with The Hindu she talked about how she curates her stories. “I research folktales from all over the world, read different versions of each story. Then I work on a script, record it and send it to my niece and daughter who give me feedback. After I hear from them, I broadcast it to my subscribers. I try to improvise the stories I read, so that they can be understood by even toddlers, but I try to make them interesting to pre-teens as well.”
With nuclear families becoming more and more popular, there is not much scope for children to bond with their grandparents. With her stories Kahaniwali Naani is trying to bridge this gap in the most unique way.
One of her fondest memories is that of what her stories meant to a Kashmiri woman.
“She said that she lives with her family in a small town, just 30 km from the border. They have no formal schooling system and very irregular Internet and mobile connectivity. She told me that whenever they are able to connect to the Internet, the children look forward to listening to my stories. She said that she uses my stories to teach her children basic concepts in literacy and numeracy,” Naani shared.
Source : scoopwhoop
In four months, Kahaniwaali Naani has had over 6,000 subscribers from as far afield as the UK, the US, Dubai, Nigeria, Switzerland and Australia. The growth, she says, has been “purely through word-of-mouth: one excited parent telling others.”
She feels that stories are every child’s birthright and wants to reach as many children as she can.
I am sure reading about this unique and beautiful initiative will bring a smile on your face!
Information Source : thehindu
Title Image: youtube