Once upon a story...

Published: 25 November, 2011 10:23 IST | Anurupa Dongare |

Kathayatra is a three-day festival that celebrates the joy of reading through innovative events

Kathayatra is a three-day festival that celebrates the joy of reading through innovative events

With the aim of preserving the reading culture, especially among children, a Kathayatra has been organised in the city. The three-day festival is the brainchild of Bhaasha, a voluntary organisation working for the preservation of regional languages.

Children enjoying a storytelling session at Kathayatra

The slogan of Kathayatra this year is Let's celebrate a story and keeping the theme in mind all the events revolve around different forms of storytelling. Speaking about the event, Swati Raje, President, Bhaasha Foundation shares, "I have been a part of the children's literature movement over the past decade. Through my travels around the world I saw that a lot was being done for the preservation of languages and that is how Bhaasha came about."

When asked how the idea of Kathayatra came about, she says, "Grandmothers were the original storytellers but they are moving away from nuclear homes. That is why children have missed out on the experience of a kirtan, powada and such simple joys of life."

One of the aims of Kathayatra is to explore various forms of storytelling. There will even be a session by Vandana Hajra from Kolkata on the concept of 'Dance a story'. The event will also feature a dance ballet Katha and Kathak performed by Kathak dancer Shambhavi Vaze.

Kathayatra has also included an academic framework for the children. There will be a discussion during the festival where delegates from India, Maldives and other countries will talk about folktales being the essence of storytelling. There is also a Great Wall of Bhasha which the children can doodle on or as Raje says "explore themselves".

On November 25 (6.30 pm), November 26 (12.30 pm), November 27 (10 am onwards)
At Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir, JM Road.

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