One Day, One Book- My second time as PB Champ

It had happened so that in 2011 we had moved to Kolkata. Not knowing a single soul and unfamiliar with the language, the move was proving to be very difficult one for me. Gradually we settled down in the building we had moved in and got to know some people. It was the September 2012, when I came across Pratham Books ' social campaign 'One Book One Day' to be held on World Literacy Day,  which is annually observed on September 8. What a fun day it turned out to be and we added more friends to our list then we already had! I vowed that I will be participating in the campaign every year.

Unfortunately, in June next year, I lost my younger brother to a car accident. His birthday falls on September 7 and I could not ever again bring myself to participate in the activity since then. But things changed this year and I made up my mind to participate in One Day, One Book.

Now, I was pushed into storytelling by my friends (Personally, I like to think that they just wanted to get rid of their kids for sometime, a couple of times in a week, and I was their safe house.) Coming back to this year's World Literacy Day I announced on a WhatsApp group, the programme, date and times for the session and began to wait for a confirmation from the participants.

Most of those who come to me for regular storytelling confirmed their presence within next 5 minutes and some others too showed their interest giving me a confidence boost.

I was confident that I had kept the poster from the first association with PB Champs very carefully. I began to look for it in the house but unfortunately could not find as we had moved house in the recent past. Although I was half in the mind to give up the idea of the session but because I had received the book 'Gappu Can't Dance' and had been roaming around excitedly planning the activities for the storytelling, my husband convinced me to go ahead with it anyway.

Like in 2012, the day dawned bright and nice but by the time of our session rain gods opened their hearts and poured and roared with all their might. Kids began to trickle one by one. Finally the storytelling started a good half an hour late and with not as many kids as had registered.

The story 'Gappu Can't Dance' is about a little girl Gappu who is just not able to do anything the way her teacher tells her to. Eventually, seeing her mismatched and awkward efforts the whole class laughs at her. The teacher then tells everyone to follow Gappu and soon everyone is having more fun than they were having already in the class.

Gappu touched many hearts and the kids decided to play Gappu taking turns. This soon turned into a game of 'Follow the Leader' which almost all of us must have played during our childhood. We discussed Gappu's predicament as to why she could not follow instructions and came up with answers from 'Uska Mann' (Her wish) to maybe she couldn't hear well and properly. 

Because bullying is something I feel very strongly about, I turned our conversation towards the time in book when everyone began to laugh at Gappu. Kids asked me how was that bullying and only pushing someone or asking others to do something for them, constituted bullying. I reasoned with them that making anybody feel bad about themselves whether we called it bullying or something else. Everyone agreed that it is no one making others feel small or insignificant and also the fact that everyone should be allowed todo a few things, at least 'fun' things like dance, as they wish.

I was very happy with the way the session had progressed so far. Next, we added some dancing, singing and movements to the tune of  some popular rhymes like 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes'. We ended our time together with some juice and popcorns.

I am taking my blog to the next level with @BlogChatter's activity #MyFriend Alexa.


Anita said…
These stories n discussions will help the kids to grow into responsible n caring people.Wish you a lot of success in your journey ..
Bullying is such an important topic that we all need to make our children conscious of. I'm glad you are bringing it into the conversation.
Mayura Amarkant said…
Storytelling is a great way to get one's message across. Brilliant post! Keep writing such informative posts. #MyFriendAlexa #DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter
Bullying is insane, we all need to abolish it completely.. and its not limited to just schools or colleges. even as an adult I feel I experience it often
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