One Day, Many Stories!

Posted by Remya Padmadas on September 23, 2016

Every year, the entire Pratham Books family (including our lovely community) gears up for the biggest celebration of the year – our ‘One Day, One Story' campaign. Celebrated on the occasion of International Literacy Day every year, the campaign aims to take stories to as many children possible on a single day throughout the country (and beyond!)

This initiative is part of the Pratham Books' Champions program where we encourage our community of volunteers to conduct reading sessions. These sessions are conducted free of cost and mostly with children from under-served communities. The Pratham Books' Champions program is a one-of its kind volunteer program that has scaled to a national & international level with more and more volunteers joining in each year. For this year’s edition of ‘One Day One Story’, volunteers from Oracle Bangalore joined us to take stories into classrooms, thanks to our partners Mantra4Change.

On the bright morning of September 10th, about eight volunteers from Oracle’s Bangalore facility reached the Nirmal Vidyalaya on Hosa Road.  The school had an ongoing Teacher’s Day celebration which included dances and skits put up by students, a friendly cricket match between students and teachers and of course our storytelling sessions ☺ The volunteers divided themselves in six groups and headed to groups of children from Grades 4th, 5th and 6th.  The story of 'The Elephant Bird'  by Arefa Tehsin, Sonal Goyal and Sumit Sakhuja enthralled children of Grade 5 as they wondered if brave Munia could save the giant bird! In the Grade 4 classroom, children were actively participating in identifying the different seeds they find in the fruits they eat as they went on a seed collecting journey with Tooka, Poi and Inji in 'Let's Go Seed Collecting' by Neha Sumitran and Archana Sreenivasan. In Grade 6, the children kept interrupting volunteer Senthil to confirm and re-confirm if Jadav ‘Mulai’ Payeng in 'Jadav and the Tree-Place' by Vinayak Varma is a real man who actually built an entire forest on his own. The story telling sessions were followed by impromptu singing sessions, chit-chat with the students and a lot of idea and noise exchange!

Here is a short video that captures the day that features

Hear Khushboo Awasthi, Co-Founder of our partner organisation Mantra4Change talking about the importance of such sessions for the children underlining the exposure the corporate volunteers bring into classrooms.


Meet Sandhya, a first time storytelling volunteer from Oracle and her experience with the One Day One Story event. –

Our sincere thanks to all the volunteers from Oracle, children and teachers of Nirmala Vidyalaya and the Mantra4Change team in making this session memorable!

Together we can take a story to every child in every corner of the country.

Here are a few pics from the event. 

ODOS with Oracle Volunteers in Bangalore

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StoryWeaver Spotlight: Jayant Meghani

Posted by Remya Padmadas on September 22, 2016

1.     What do you usually read? Which language do you prefer to read in?

My meagre reading consists of stray books, normally non-fiction. My mother tongue Gujarati would be my preference, but I also like to read books and magazines in English and sometimes Hindi.

2.     Is there a favourite book / author and why is it a favourite?

Nothing in particular. I like exploring a wide field when it comes to authors and subjects. I am a generalist.​

3.     You have contributed for us immensely. How has the StoryWeaver journey been?

I have  liked the stories that I have worked on  and am impressed by how educative they are. ​

4.     How does it feel when your story gets published online? 

Naturally one feels satisfied having participated in an educative process. I also derive creative joy.  ​

5.     You have translated / reviewed a handful of stories for us. Which one has been your favourite and why?

I really enjoyed working with quite a few stories. One that I had particularly liked was about a cat in the Sahyadris - ‘Cat in the Ghat’.

6.     What is your key driver in taking this up? 

Being a bookman all my working life​ - now over half a century - I love to work with words, in my own language as also in English. The kind of stuff that you create is purposeful and that attracts me even when I am hard pressed for time.

7.     How has your overall experience with StoryWeaver been? 


​બાલસાહિત્યના અનુવાદ અને સંપાદનનો મારો અનુભવ ખૂબ આનંદદાયક અને ઉત્સાહપ્રેરક રહ્યો. મને લાગ્યું કે જેમને જાણતો​ નથી એ તમે બધાં મિત્રો સમાન રસનાં છો, અને તમારી સાથે કામ કરવાનું મારા વ્યસ્ત નિવૃત્તિકાળમાં ઊંડો સંતોષ અને આનંદ આપનાર છે.

The experience of translation and editing with Pratham Books StoryWeaver has been delightful and stimulating. It is satisfying and joy-giving to work with you in this active dusk of life.

8. While reviewing stories, what are the top three things you keep in mind?

Any material for wider consumption amongst children should be clean and correct ​in the matter of language, and aesthetically healthy and of good taste. Ultimately everything should boil down to creating a better human being. Stories should be entertaining no doubt, but the element of education is of paramount importance in our developing society.   

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The story book : the best ground where all the children of India can meet

Posted by Remya Padmadas on September 16, 2016

Sukanta Chaudhuri is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Besides his academic work in Renaissance studies and textual scholarship, he has translated widely (chiefly from Bengali to English), and writes and campaigns on urban, educational and environmental issues. In the digital world, he has looked after many projects of electronic archiving and their dissemination, including the immense Tagore online variorum, ‘Bichitra’. 

I am excited by StoryWeaver’s ‘Freedom to Read’ campaign. India, young and old, wants to read but is so often unable to do so. So many of our countrymen never had the chance to learn to read: some children are still missing out on the opportunity today. If they do learn their letters, they often do not find the material to keep up their reading, and may even lose the skill. This robs them of their rights as citizens and humans, and depletes the nation’s human resources.

What I find so exhilarating about ‘Freedom to Read’ is that it is a genuinely free and broad-based campaign, trying to make reading material available to children in every possible way: through print, through electronic media, even in audio form where reading material is unfeasible. In particular, they have very astutely chosen to extend their presence on the Internet. The smartphone is the fastest-spreading piece of technology in India, and the most democratic. Over 50 per cent of Indians have mobile phones; an increasing proportion of them are smartphones, and if an adult in a family acquires one, sooner or later it will reach the children. Even more important is the attempt to spread the word – quite literally! – through group Internet sessions in schools and community centres. In a different direction, it is immensely heartening that StoryWeaver is also reaching out to non-scheduled, ‘minority’ languages whose speakers might number lakhs or millions.

I look forward to the day that the ‘Freedom to Read’ campaign, and others like it, will not only afford our children material to read as much as they want, but let them discover the joy of reading. Even the children of privileged families lose that joy by being made to read under compulsion at school. The story book – and that includes real-life stories and stories from nature – is perhaps the best ground where all the children of India can meet.

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