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Essar Foundation organizes Kahaani festival for Dantewada children

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The fun-filled three-day festival was designed to introduce children to alternate mediums of reading and learning through story-telling, movies, puppetry, dance and music

April 23, 2012 Bookmark and Share  
The Essar Foundation organized a fun-filled three-day festival – 'Kahaani, Akshar Se Rangmanch Tak' (A story: From the letter to the stage) – for the children of Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh, from April 17-19, 2012.

The ethos of the festival was to introduce children to alternate mediums of reading and learning through story-telling, movies, puppetry, dance, music, workshops, etc. The objectives will be to enhance the spirit of reading and learning among the children and introduce to the teachers newer tools to build child-friendly schools and systems (CFSS) as envisaged by the Right to Education Act as well.

The event saw more than 1,800 kids from more than 80 schools in the Kuakonda and Katekalyan blocks participate, and 110 teachers as well.

The District Collector of Dantewada inaugurated the event while ceremonial closure was done by a local Dantewada MLA.

The Kahaani Festival aims to encourage children to embrace the idea of the 'Joy of Reading' and learning outside the classroom. It encourages a child to ask questions, expands the scope of learning beyond the curriculum, infuses the process of learning with a sense of joy both for the child and the teacher, and explores alternatives that can make the classroom a friendlier place for children.

Kahaani also resonates with the objectives of Essar Foundation, which believes in nurturing curiosity and bridging the gap of knowledge by supporting use of alternative methods of teaching such as theatre, story-telling and other creative tools.

The festival saw children participating in art and craft workshops, puppet workshops, dance workshops and children's movies screenings. On each day of the event, a 70-minute puppet play 'Anokhe Vastra' adapted from The Emperor's New Clothes was performed by Padmashree Dadi Pudumjee and his troupe.

There was also a special section at the venue that was set aside for books and innovative toys for children. The books collection featured a number of titles written for children growing up in contemporary India, as well as classics that have stood the test of time.

The themes of all activities were carefully selected not only to act as a catalyst for understanding the relevance of these creative mediums, but also to making learning and reading a joyful medium.


  1. More than 16 sessions on different art forms aimed at improved learning were conducted.
  2. More than 1,000 different units of craft work were prepared by school kids to be used in their respective schools.
  3. More than 15 films such as Modern Times, and CFSI films were screened, many of which the kids had never seen before.
  4. Enthusiastic participation of school teachers was seen, with a number of requests for a teachers' workshop.

The District Collector, in his inaugural speech, appreciated the Foundation's efforts in bringing this unique festival to such remote area and creating a joyful environment of learning. It was a unique experience, specially for the teachers who were heard saying that such event has been the first-of-its-kind in the district.

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