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Cyrus Edwin

IWB Intern

Find Thousands Of Children’s Story Books A Click Away, On The StoryWeaver

  • IWB Post
  •  November 14, 2017

 

Remember one of the best fantasy stories ever created? No! I am not talking about the classic Harry Potter series. I mean, Yes! That sure fits the category but here, I am referring to the Alice in Wonderland.

As soon as I hear the word Wonderland, something happens to me. I blink to see the big round enchanting eyes of the Cheshire cat, the endless pit that Alice kept on falling in, the caterpillar with a hookah, the big head of the red queen, the dormouse, the Hatter. And my head goes spinning. Lewis Carol surely made my childhood more interesting.

And you know what? Just like the endless pit, another passage to enter into Wonderland can be a short and sweet Story. Be it the less number of libraries in the city or the fancy looking hardbound novels with a fancy price; children cannot access these amazing works.

Done with the clichéd Raja Rani story where everything ended happily ever after, or the jhole waale baba’s who had found his way from our great great great (I can keep going on and on) grandparents’ time till now. Indian kids need something more.

Therefore, to create a platform where every child gets to read all the amazing works that are published exclusively for them, last year, Bengaluru-based publishing house Pratham books have introduced India’s first open store of multilingual children’s stories called the StoryWeaver. With the aim of ’A book in every child’s hand,’ this open source website gives a chance to read, rework, translate and download books for free.

In an interview with Huffington Post India, Suzanne Singh, (Chairperson, Pratham books) said, ‘’In India, there are critical supply shortages for reading resources for children – not enough books with not enough languages compounded by poor access and issues of affordability.’’

Apart from downloading them for free, you can even translate stories into your own language and publish them back to the portal. Adding this feature to the website, it has led not only to preserve the traditional languages but also to introduce a new form of language to the array of languages, the Adivasi language, which is being spoken in pockets of Bengal and North Odisha.

Some of the stories have been recognized even out of India with collaborations like African Storybook Project and Bloom library. Within the country, StoryWeaver is being used as a substitutional means of education. In remote areas with poor internet connectivity, like in Jharkhand, teachers often download and print the books for offline teaching and for distribution of the texts.

We wish all the best to this Publishing House for starting this generous cause and wish the readers only one thing, Happy Reading!

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