Kohima to host first Bookaroo in Northeast
Kohima, June 26 (EMN): Kohima will be hosting the first Bookaroo event in the Northeast region as The Kohima Institute brings India’s children literature festival to the hilly capital town in October.
The three-day Kohima Bookaroo, starting from October 25, will aim to engage children in the age group of 4 to 14 years over literary related activities in more than 40 sessions, The Kohima Institute trustee and President Dr. Kekhrie Yhome on Moday June 25 announced at a press conference.
He said the children’s literature festival was being organised to encourage children inculcate the culture of reading. The Bookaroo is being planned to be held at the Raj Bhavan area. We have already met the governor and sought his permission to conduct the literature carnival in and around the Raj Bhavan, Yhome informed.
Festival director, M Venkatesh said the main idea of the event was to bring children and books together; to introduce books to children through crafts and various activities.
The first day of the festival, according to the organisers, will be dedicated to authors visiting various schools (outreach), the second day will be a packed session involving not only books alone but many other activities that engages the creativity of young minds, and the last day of the literary fest will be a day for family. The activities will be divided for different age groups.
It was informed that the literary carnival will also bring together a selection of celebrated children’s authors, illustrators, poets, performers and storytellers from different parts of India. The festival is packed with interactive and hands-on activities that will be run by the literary stars themselves, the organisers said.
“The multidimensional Children Literature Festival takes into account the entire range of readers, from the reluctant to the evolved. The programme is curate to fulfil our belief that there is a book for every child and that our role is to help them find that book. It is every child’s joy to let imagination roam freely when the magic of books come alive,” a handout from The Kohima Institute stated.
Bookaroo is an inclusive festival that has struck a chord with children in India and it has so far travelled to 10 cities across the country and abroad in Malaysia. It has also won the London Book Fair International Excellence Award for Literary Festival in 2017. The Kohima event will mark the 30th edition of Bookaroo.
The festival’s sessions of varying activities will include dramatised readings, storytelling sessions, workshops and art/craft with well known authors and writers and performing artists, promoting the excitement and importance of literature to encourage education and development.
Some of the key speakers (children book writers, illustrators and storytellers) who will be in Kohima for the festival include: Amar Chitra Katha, India’s children comic book maker, who have been illustrating and telling stories to children for 50 years now; Ameen ul Hague, storyteller from Bengaluru; Canato Jimo, illustrator and art director at Pratham Books; Parnab Mukherjee, a spoken word performer, curator, performance consultant and a leading alternative theatre director; Praba Ram, children’s writer, a reading specialist and an early literacy advocate; Qissebaazi (performed by Saattvic – who works at a law firm, but moonlights as an actor, tabla player, playwright, singer, film-maker and storyteller – and Padma Damodaran, an actor, director, writer and theatre trainer ); Rituparna Ghosh, a storyteller who has regaled children both in India and abroad with her stories; Roopa Pai, author of 20 books including the Taranauts series and Ready 99: Survival Tactics for Teenagers; Kavitha Mandana, writer and illustrator of children’s stories across publishers; Rita Krocha, Kohima-based author and publisher; Easterine Kire, noted Naga poet and author and winner of the Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2018.
The event will be supported by the state government, and the organisers informed to try to engage as many schools as possible including government and private institutions.
Bookaroo is run by founders Swati Roy and M Venkatesh, who set up Eureka, India’s first specialist children’s bookstore, and Jo Williams, a former organizer, Red House Children’s Award in the UK.
Co-partners The Kohima Institute is a charitable trust engaged in teaching and research at the postgraduate level, facilitating innovation and critical thinking in the northeast India. It organizes the Annual International Hutton Lecture Series at Kohima, which brings together local scholars and international scholars for debating and diffusing knowledge. It has partnered with world-class universities like University of Oxford, Tubingen University, University of Cambridge, Ambedkar University of Delhi, amongst others.