Travelling with Stories

What is it about a story that makes us want to listen to it?

It is not something that can be explained but it has to be experienced. This holds true for all that has to do with Arts as well. It transcends time and space, with imagination set afloat, no limit to where one can reach. As a storyteller, with every word an unthreaded map follows- a key for listeners to open their mind to a treasure trove of journeys.

At the Foundation, teachers and facilitators celebrate Teacher’s day a bit differently. Along with it we also celebrate International Literacy Day through the ‘One Day-One Story’ campaign.

Each year we set out with a story, drums and songs, to reach out to schools and organisations around South Bangalore. Our intent is to use the arts; in myriad possibilities, whether to build acceptance or make connects within communities.

This year, Snehadhara Foundation and Community Drumjam Foundation collaborated to create a vibrant world of wonder, rhythm and imagination through the story of Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom. Together we celebrated International Literacy Day, through ‘One Day-One Story’ campaign, for communities where we stride together. The story took off from PNLIT, Puttenhali Lake and traversed through the worlds of children and the elderly at Konankunte Govt Primary school, Jayanagar parent association, Snehadaan, Bosco girls home, Sunbeam, Desire Society, Nightingales Centre for Ageing and Alzheimer’s and Nightingale Sandhya Kiran. The connection, the response, the participation from each group was a story in itself.

Celebrating International Literacy Day through ‘One Day-One Story’ campaign, our group ventured out with puppets, drums and a couple of songs, to travel with the story ‘The Elephant Bird‘. We ventured out to Govt schools, Shiva Balayogi Ashram for senior citizens, Ramana Maharishi Ashram for the visually impaired, Snehadaan-a community care centre and Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust witnessing throughout the joy and laughter.

This year we reached out to at least 1000 children and adults. We began this journey with visiting the apartment communities of some of our children and taking the story to government schools, old age homes, orphanages, organisations working with children at high risk. ‘A boy and his drum’ took a journey quite its own into the realm of drama, songs, drum beats; each aspect infusing fresh energy that did not let the tale get stale for the audience and especially the storytellers who reinvented with each telling. We took the story to Hulimavu Government school , SJR Luxuria , Snehadhaan, Mantri Residency,Shiva Bala Yogi Old Age home, Sunbeam, Child Fund Association and Meenakshi Residency.

Stories live when told. The story telling event at the Puttenhalli brought alive ‘Sringeri Srinivas’ from a popular story, The Annual Haircut, to about 90 children in the school. The lead up to the event saw a voice session with the children of the school as the children from the centre prepared the props for the event.

We set out with a story, a pot-puppet, drums and a couple of songs, to reach out to schools and organisations around South Bangalore. The book chosen for this year’s campaign was ‘Paplu, the Giant’ – written by Ramendra Kumar and Illustrated by Zainab Tambawalla. Paplu, the giant was our teacher’s day gift to the lives of many who have shown us ways of seeing and learning. Paplu travelled to Jayanagar Parent Association, Mysore Educational Welfare society, Brindavan Education Trust, Belaku Shishu Nivasa, BMES Byrasandra and the government school in Uttarahalli.