Tinkle and the little stars

Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 08:41 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

On its 39th birthday, the beloved children's magazine will see its first-ever fun-raiser helmed by children with proceeds going towards empowering kids from low-income communities

The Apollo Band comprises children under 16 years of age
The Apollo Band comprises children under 16 years of age

When Anant Pai started Tinkle, a children's anthology, in 1980 little did he imagine that he would be regarded as the Walt Disney of India. And somewhere in that decade, when she was about six years old, Rajani Thindiath, the current editor-in-chief of Tinkle, picked up her first comic. "So, I am definitely a reader first and then an editor," she remarks, recalling that the stories then were more folktale-heavy.

Rajani Thindiath

A lot has changed since 1980, like Suppandi and Shikari Shambu, two of its most iconic characters. "Suppandi is more than just a house help now; he can be a photographer or an archaeologist. Similarly, the hunter Shambu takes on the role of a conservationist. And since 2012, we've made a conscious effort towards adding more female characters like Mapui Kawlim aka WingStar or Aisha in SuperWeirdo," Thindiath informs.

Shikari Shambu

Uncle Pai, as he was fondly called, hosted Tinkle's birthday events from the time of the magazine's inception. The magazine turns 39 this week — sharing its birthday with Children's Day — and on Saturday will organise the first-ever Tinkle Fun Raiser for which mid-day is the media partner. It will see children putting up food and game stalls, volunteering and performing, too. The proceeds of the event will go towards raising funds for The Akanksha Foundation, a not-for-profit that works towards empowering children from low-income communities.

Shikari Shambuand Suppandi (top) are two of Tinkle's oldest and most popular characters

"We have been planning the event for over a month. Tinkle has a great fan following so kids readily came on board. This was just to kick-start our 40th anniversary and in the future, we will also be having independent events around the birthdays of characters," says Shilpi Mathur Bhatnagar, business head of Amar Chitra Katha.

Mascots of the characters will also be present at the Fun Raiser. Another highlight is the performance of The Apollo Band, a seven-member outfit of kids under 16 years of age who are committed towards giving back to society through music. "We've been preparing for two weeks and will be putting up a 45-minute showcase of 11 songs including some jazz and instrumental numbers. I'm also going to be playing a solo on the djembe. We hope to raise a lot of money for the foundation," Rohit Krishnamoorthy, the band's 13-year-old percussionist shares. In addition, Agastya Amdekar, a home-schooled eight-year-old, will also be exhibiting his paintings and artworks.

The event will have kids set up stalls and games, volunteer and perform to raise funds for The Akanksha Foundation

Reader feedback has always been an integral to the magazine and so is a gathering for a good cause. Thindiath concludes, "The children of today aren't as innocent as those of the 1980s. They're more aware with social media. A lot of kids write to us stating that they wish to write or illustrate for the magazine, so this is a good opportunity for them to meet and greet our comics team, and have a lot of fun!"

ON November 16, 11 am onwards
AT Mount Litera School International, Asian Heart Hospital, Bandra Kurla Complex.
bit.ly/TinkleFunRaiser (to register)

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