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Literary Bhagidari

an initiative to engage eminent authors and literary personalities in a projct to mentor the young adults with focus on lesser previliged children

India is currently passing through a phase of rapid social, cultural and economic transition. An immensely young population has to deal with the dynamics of this transition on a daily basis. It is the responsibility of the more stable and established adults of the society to guide and mentor the aspiring young adults in such times. Writers and poets can offer valuable guidance through their work. For this to happen it is imerative that children develop reading and writing habits. Children and young adults living or studying in schools located in rural areas need special attention as they lack both, fair opportunities and resources. Initiatives are need to provide them access and exposure to opportunities that can develop their reading and writing skills.

Term of the Project

The term of the Project is one year. The Project will start at the First Edition of KLF to be held in October 2015 and will culminate at the Second Edition of Kumaon Literary Festical to be held in October 2016.

Main Constitutents of the Project

The Project is aimed at children in the age group of 8-16 years studying in the public schools and schools run by charitable organisations in distant villages of District Nainital. These schools lack basic infrastructure and resources. Students of these schools lack access to reasonable opportunities.

Components of the Project

The Project has the following four components:

Creative writing workshops in October 2015
  • Follow-up Creative writing workshop in November-December
  • Publishing of short story in the book
  • Recognition of the winner at Second Edition

Creative writing workshops in October 2015

Four creative writing workshops will be held for lesser previliged children from 23-27 October 2015 on the sides of KLF. Two aimed at children from schools located in and around Dhanachuli on 24th and 25th October 2015 and two involving children from schools located in and around Nainital on 26th and 27th October. The primary focus will be on children from schools which do not have adequate means and resources to be exposed to literary festivals and creative writing workshop conducted by such eminent experts. Over 400 school children from public and private schools including Hindi medium schools and those run by NGOs in the rural areas are confirmed to attend the workshops. The workshops will be held in the premises of (a) a school in Dhanachuli; (b) venue of KLF in Dhanachuli; (c) in the campus of Aarohi (an NGO) in a village about 30 kms from Dhanachuli and (c) in auditorium of Uttarakhand Academy of Administration in Nainital.
Abha Iyengar, Dolly Singh, Mariam Karim Ahlawat will conduct the workshop. Jerry Pinto, Deepa Agarwal and Siddhartha Gigoo, all highly regarded children literature authors will interact with school children before or after the workshop as a part of mentorship effort. Short bio of the authors and poets is attached. These authors will not charge any fee or remuneration. They have agreed to contribute their time and skill on honorary basis. Only travel, lodging and food will be provided.
Children from schools in and around Dhanachuli will be invited to attend the select sessions of KLF in batches of 50 each of the first 3 days and 100 in the last 2 days.

Outcomes
  • learn short story and poetry writing skills.
  • Inter-action with eminent children literature authors
  • Exposure to literary events, entertainment
  • Selection of 40 children for a follow-up workshop to be held in the month of November-December 2015.

Follow-up Creative writing workshop in November-December

A follow up creative writing workshop will be held in November-December 2015 for 40 children seclected from the October workshop. The main purpose of this workshop will be to mentor these 40 children and prepare them to participate in KLF’s short story submission project - Fellows of Nature” (FON). FON has been started by KLF with the objective of reviving interest in nature writing and through this form of literature, build awareness and develop respect for nature, and eventually help in conservation. Nation-wide submissions of short stories on the theme of nature will be invited. Around 20 best stories selected by an eminent jury will be published in the form of a book.
A jury headed by Siddhartha Gigoo (Asia winner of Commonwealth Short Story Award 2015) will select best stories from the submissions received. One story short has been reserved for publishing out of submissions to be made by this group of 40 children.
This workshop will be taken by Abha Iyengar, Siddhartha Giggoo and Sujata Parashar. These authors will not charge any fee or remuneration. They have agreed to contribute their time and skill on honorary basis. Only travel, lodging and food will be provided.

Outcomes
  • learn short story and poetry skill in nature writing with the objective of participation in FON project
  • awareness about nature conservation and its benefits
  • awareness about FON Project
  • interaction with experts on children literature

Publishing of short story in the book

Out of short stories submitted by this group of 40 children, at least one short will be published in the book of short stories to be published by Project FON. The book will be published in 2016 and planned for release in the Second Edition of Kumaon Literary Festival to be held in 2016 if not earlier.
The other short stories submitted by this group of 40 children will be compiled and posted on the website of KLF and NHP Centre.

Outcome
  • publishing of at least story in the book of short stories.
  • short stories submitted by this group will be compiled and placed on KLF and NHP websites
  • Certificate of participation will be given to all participants

Recognition of the winner at Second Edition

The winner (whose story is published in the book) will be given a special award during the Second Edition of KLF to be held in October 2016.
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