Hey kids! ‘Kahani Online’ is just for you

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New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) From uncovering stories to exploring science through fun DIY (Do It Yourself) art and craft sessions, live workshops, book readings, conversations as well as pre-recorded performances, a newly-launched online platform aims to create a safe, virtual space, encouraging children to think outside the box and explore the realm of their imagination and creativity.
“Kahaani Online” will bring alive stories and fables from across the world “in a variety of forms through magic, puppetry, storytelling, music, to enliven a child’s mind and open them to the infinite possibility of imagination, mystery, adventure, and excitement,” Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts that has initiated the platform in association with Pratham Books, said.
“The digital series will also feature artistes with unique styles of storytelling and present an opportunity for children to pick-up a new art form, all the while sitting at home,” Roy, the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), added.
“Kahaani Online” will feature four new episodes each week, with every episode catering to specific age brackets: 4-6 years, 7-9 years and 10-12 years. While most episodes will have the option to be viewed later, certain workshops and conversations will be conducted as live sessions.
The live sessions are scheduled for every Sunday. On signing up for the platform, partner schools, children, and parents will be able to view sessions free of cost for the initial month, post which, viewers will have to subscribe for Rs 199 per month.
“Kahaani Online” will present an array of renowned storytellers from across the world, puppeteers, and other master practitioners. The series will begin with a storytelling session for 4-6-year-olds, by bestselling author, storyteller, and trainer based out of the U.K, Cat Weatherill, who will present the extremely popular nursery story, ‘Three Little Pigs’.
As part of the ongoing #SaveWithStories campaign, in collaboration with US-based NGO Save the Children, “Kahaani Online” will also feature popular actress Soha Ali Khan who will read out from her favorite storybook “Someday”. Celebrated painter and author of numerous children’s books, Bulbul Sharma will teach children how to weave their own tales, in a session for 7-9 years.
Musician, storyteller, and martial artist Aditya Roy will enthrall children with his retelling of a popular Celtic the mythological tale, on the legends of “Tuatha D� Danann” from Ireland. With Anubha Rastogi’s interpretation of the famous fairytale, “The Old Woman who lived in a Vinegar Bottle” children will once again get the opportunity to travel the world with their imagination.
The series will also feature some fantastic puppetry workshops. Puppeteer Mohammed Shameem, founder of Puppetshala, will teach children how to make their own puppets to play with, with materials that can be found easily at home.
Award-winning British performer Drew Colby will present a puppet show titled “Anansi and Five”, a traditional tale from Africa about the trickster spider-man Anansi. Extending the offerings, the series will present a drama workshop by professional storyteller and educator, Rohini Vij.
The series will also feature workshops and sessions by renowned performers including Puneeta Roy, Tilottama Shome, Rashmi Uppal, Jaishree Sethi, Ramendra Kumar, Swagata S. Pillai, Anurupa Roy, Dilip Shankar and Jeeva Raghunath, to name a few.
“Now more than ever, the need to engage children using innovative channels and ideas is critical as children continue to be at home due to school closures. Through this association with the ‘Kahaani Online’ series, we hope to create exciting storytelling experiences for children everywhere, in many languages,” Pratham Books CEO Himanshu Giri said.
Extending their support for the initiative, Kamini Banga and Vindi Banga from Kamini And Vindi Banga Family Trust, said: “Planting the seeds of the magic of storytelling in our children will ensure that these wonderful tales will endure for generations to come. We both grew up in India, immersed in stories that provided hope, comfort, and an anchor to our lives. In these turbulent times, we believe stories offer refuge and a place to dream; the elixir for childhood.”

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