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Home > Mumbai Guide News > Things To Do News > Article > Mumbai kid explores an illustrated map of Maharashtra and heres how it went

Mumbai kid explores an illustrated map of Maharashtra and here's how it went

Updated on: 27 November,2023 07:34 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devashish Kamble |

A 10-year-old science enthusiast ­explores an illustrated map of our home state that ignites a new interest for geography in him

Mumbai kid explores an illustrated map of Maharashtra and here's how it went

(From left) Panels with details about shekru (the Indian giant squirrel); Raigad fort and the Ajanta caves

Mapping MaharashtraGeography is not my favourite subject at school, I’m more interested in the ways of science and the logic behind every day experiences that my teachers reveal through lessons and demonstrations,” admits 10-year-old Nivaan Shivnani over a candid call with this writer. His perspective is reflective of a growing trend among children today, drawn more towards scientific exploration and less towards concepts like culture and heritage.

His loyalties seem to have undergone a tectonic shift when we talk to him just a day later, after he has read through a map of Maharashtra that highlights the natural and cultural heritage of the state. “Nivaan spent hours on end exploring the map; asking me an unending list of questions about monuments and animals, some of which even I wasn’t aware of,” admits his mother Amrita Shivnani. The map in question here is an illustrated map of Maharashtra, created by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) that showcases the natural habitat distribution of various animals and locations of iconic heritage monuments. Released on Children’s Day earlier this month, the map is part of the Museum on Wheels initiative that takes the museum experience to schools and NGOs across the country through two custom-built buses. Kids can also get their hands on the map — available in English and Marathi — on a visit to the museum at Fort.

Nivaan Shivnani reads the mapNivaan Shivnani reads the map

When asked what kept the young reviewer glued to the map, he tells us that it’s the map’s simplified presentation of the diverse wildlife of the state. “I had learned about the animals and their habitats mentioned in the map in school before. However, getting a bird’s eye view of facts with illustrations really piqued my interest. The infographic panel on the back about Raigad fort blew my mind. The fort has 1,500 stone steps!” he tells us excitedly. Amrita reveals that learning about the shekru [Indian giant squirrel]’s status as the official state animal of Maharashtra was also a pleasant surprise for him, adding, “He has always been fond of squirrels, stopping to catch a glimpse every time we spot one outside. And so, it’s no surprise that he has developed a strong liking for shekru.”

Art on the cover of the foldable mapsArt on the cover of the foldable maps

She echoes a concern shared by parents across the world today. “With newer distractions popping up every day not only online, but also out in the city, it’s difficult to get them to sit down and study something in detail. I believe that shaking things up and making it fun for them like this [the illustrated map] is the only way out of this. The map had a decent balance of illustrations and text. I hope we get to see more such maps, preferably diving deeper into details soon,” she suggests.

Our Maharashtra, Our Culture: A handy map for children

AGE GROUP: 10 to 15 years
EMAIL: (to book a museum on wheels visit to your location)

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