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Chandra Chari

A Project of
Pratham Books, 2014


THE ELEPHANTS WHO LIKED TO DANCE/NAACH uTHE HAATHI; THE WATER SEED/PAANI KA BEEJ; What should Soma grow?/Soma Kya Boye All three by the Munda Writers’ Group. Illustrated by Sugrib Kumar Juanga and Ramani Ranjan Sarangi THE FOX AND THE LUMP OF CLAY/LOMDI AUR MITTI KA DHELA; ASILA...BASILA...UTILA...JAUCHA; THE RABBIT’S LONG EARS? KHARGOSH KE LAMBE KAAN All three by the Kui Writers’Group. Illustrated by Sanatan Juanga and Sugrib Kumar Juanga DOONG DOONG DUM DUM; THE CLEVER CHICKEN/Chatur Chooja Both by the Juanga Writers’ group. Illustrated by Sugrib Kumar Juanga and Sanatan Juanga THE JACKAL’S LOSS/SIYAR KI HAAR; THE CATTY RATTY TALE/Billiyon ki Davat Both by the Saura Writers’ Group. Illustrated by Pradip Kumar Sahu & Kusha Kumar Barik Pratham Books, 2014, pp. 16 each and price R35.00 each Pratham Books has come out with a  winner set for readers in the making. The Adi Kahani Series, a bilingual one, follows an original translation path: from the original tribal language to Odiya and then onto Hindi and English. The publisher has adopted a unique concept to bring the rich diversity of fascinating tribal myths. ‘For education to be truly meaningful to every child, she must get good books to read in her own language,’ is the belief underlying this concept. Pratham’s media partners in this project are Ignus ERG, a guild of resource persons working to enhance the quality of education, particularly in government schools, and the Bernard van Leer Foundation based in the Hague with a particular interest in mother-tongue based education. The stories in the ten books in the series have been written and illustrated by the authors and illustrators belonging to the Munda, Kui, Saura and Juanga tribes from Odisha, in a series of workshops. Any doubts as to how a convoluted path of translation would work are quickly dispelled on reading these beautiful tales told with the direct simplicity that is the hallmark of a tribal. Adi Kahani, with resonances from the Panchatantra Tales. have a lovely lilt to the titles themselves. When I read out some of them my granddaughter Dharma. She loved the sound of Aisla… basila… and kept repeating them! As would other children. Or, Doong Doong Dum Dum. The Dancing Elephants again would bring a burst of joy in the young reader. Beyond this however is the evident concern among the tribals for ...

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