Spinning a House Full of Interesting Stories
Deccan Herald (Bangalore, India)
June 21, 2005
Kathalaya, founded by Geeta Ramanujam, Lalu Narayan and Sujatha Pai, uses the method of storytelling to infuse the basics of classroom education into children, says S Radha Prathi.
Life has undergone unbelievable changes as a side effect to the progress of science and technology. Most children fall asleep while watching television or over their unfinished homework. Less privileged children fall asleep out of sheer fatigue after a gruelling day of work. Story-time appears to be an antiquated custom no longer in vogue.
One can easily notice a definite lack of imagination and creativity in an entire generation of very efficient but mechanised people.
Kathalaya was registered as a trust in 1999 by Geeta Ramanujam, Lalu Narayan and Sujatha Pai with the aim of using storytelling as an educational tool in rural and urban schools. Today, the organisation has adopted 50 rural schools with the support of Sarva Shikshana Abhyan of the Departments of Education and has reached out to more than 10,000 children.
It has also trained more than 7,600 teachers in South India, Japan, South Africa and Poland. Kathalaya has opened its own resource centre for stories and storytelling, which also functions as a library and research centre.
The children are coaxed into learning a whole gamut of concepts without much ado. The story sessions exude bilateral improvement in children. They not only follow the concept but also pick up a decent vocabulary and are instructed in the usage of language.
Geeta Ramanujam, the director of Kathalaya says, “A great treasure trove of folk tales is buried in our own culture. It is our duty as a community to unfold this treasure and plough it back to our children.”
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