90% of the human brain grows by the age of 5. So needless to say, what they do or learn at this time has an enormous impact on what they do in their future. Books and stories are key to developing good language skills and communication. But they are also great tools to promote creative and imaginative thinking. By introducing them to so many new possibilities, we can allow them to understand that the only thing that can stop you from reaching for the stars is your mind. With the advent of media and tech-savvy parents, our children are already exposed to so many things. But sometimes, it pays to go back to basics- books can still give children the best means to use their imagination. Characters they read about or hear about are open to interpretation. They don’t have to be told how they are supposed to be, kids figure it out for themselves!
An enormous number of books, videos, and educational resources are available today. This makes it impossible to make out what is actually good and what you should be reading to your child. While storytelling is a wondrous thing, we do believe that as parents what we instill in them through these is of paramount importance. There is such a thing as a sub-par storybook! The quality of the content at Anek Chidiya is the very foundation of our initiative. Be it our library, activities, workshops or our resources, we will never do something that has little value and just not worth doing.
Our children are the future of our humankind. This may sound cliched, but it really is true. The things that matter to them will define how society is built! So they must be able to choose what is good and wholesome. And we really believe that this begins almost from the womb. Us parents are their main reference points. The choices we make give them a glimpse of how the world works. But they should always be able to respect the fact that every individual is unique and that is something to cherish. Biases based on community, background, caste, creed, race, gender may never be wiped out entirely but we should always know of what is good. By reading them stories about women who are strong, men who are gentle and communities who treat everyone with respect, they believe that this is a world where every person is special. With women taking the lead more than ever now, our daughters should be the protagonists in their own lives, not having to wait for a prince charming to come rescue them. We are not raising children now, but men and women of the future who will write their own stories!
Indian publication houses have been more and more active recently with so many Indian authors doing such great work in children’s literature. This is often overlooked because these books may not have fancy covers and characters kids see on TV. But they are stories that deserve to be read to a curious child. We will always strive to look for great publications so they are made available to children easily. We are very eager to have parents tell children stories in their regional languages as they have an enormous benefit. India is a country with a rich lingual heritage, and preserving it means preserving our national identity. Regional languages can touch a child much better as they understand the soul of it. We are dedicated to the cause of finding as well as creating original and wholesome content. Our workshops, resources, and products will reflect this too.
What we believe as adults has a lot to do with our upbringing and exposure. With so many influences from media and the world changing at the rate it is, our children need to have a solid foundation to make their way through life with their heads held high. Reading about things that are good and right will make them capable of making the right choices in life with a clear set of ethics and morals. Their value system is consolidated by reading stories about a society that cherishes every individual and is full of goodness. At Anek Chidiya, we want to further this agenda by providing books and stories with this in mind. Exposure to great children's literature will give them a peek into what a good place the world can be.