Mangaluru: Manipal School enjoys story day by Bengaluru–based storyteller Vikram Sridhar

Media Release

Mangaluru, Jul 17: A very interesting visitor landed in Manipal School last week. Children of all grades of Manipal School made a beeline to the senior library recently to listen to one hour sessions from a visitor to their school who regaled them with very interesting stories.

The visitor was Bengaluru–based storyteller, Vikram Sridhar, who was at the campus to tell them stories. Through these tales, he attempted, he gradually broke down gender stereotyping in the stories we hear. He encouraged children to hold onto local stories and focus on what can be sourced just from within families itself. He showed children how to tell stories through actions and sounds rather than words. To demonstrate, he ‘told’ the children the Crow and Water Pot story just by using cawing and gurgling sounds. By modulating his voice, he was able to paint a picture of a thirsty crow with a parched throat, pebbles dropping into a pot, splashy sounds and finally a happy crow!

He also showed the children that stories need not be serious all the time, that they can be ‘silly’, simple and just plain fun to listen to and create. By using just the index fingers, Sridhar demonstrated that stories can even be gender neutral and age neutral. He narrated the story of ‘Finga' and ‘Fingi’ who start the morning in a normal way (the fingers do the actions of waking up, brushing teeth, bathing, dressing, eating breakfast…), they go to school and that is where they share what each has (pencils, spoons, food), bond and become best friends. They walk back home, wish each other goodbye and promise to be friends- All this through only actions with the index fingers!

But the most interesting session was the last with the teachers. Sridhar said that the most important job of a teacher was 'to create memories'. He asked the Manipal teachers to think of one teacher from their childhood who they remembered the most. Many teachers spoke fondly of their school or college professors, but some had unpleasant memories of strict or gruff teachers. He said each teacher should strive to be the best version of themselves so children could remember and cherish them in future.

Sridhar said that every subject can be taught as a story and every story has elements of math, science, chemistry, physics etc. He also stressed on the fact that local lore could be and should be incorporated at ever chance. He said it is these interesting tidbits that stick on in a child’s memory and not the subject per se. He was scathing about the fact that from the time children start formal education, their world view is very Europe-centric. For example, he said that children all over ndia begin learning English letters with ‘A is for Apple’. He said apples are not even grown in South India, let alone Mangaluru. Instead, local fruits can be used as examples.

It suffices to say that Sridhar brought in many ideas that could help teachers make their future lessons more interesting and Manipal students can definitely expect more stories at school!



Title : Mangaluru: Manipal School enjoys story day by Bengaluru–based storyteller Vikram Sridhar


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