Children’s book project marries tech with storytelling

November 30th, 2011 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) Information technology and creative writing have come together in a unique project to create literature by children for children.

A project “Write & Read: By Us For Us” - a compilation of short stories - has turned the portable computer printer into a creative device by using computer printing technology to put together an anthology of short stories.

The book priced at Rs.375 is a colourful collection of illustrated stories that are part personal recollections and part narratives that pick up from social issues like concerns for the environment, fairytales, wildlife and anecdotes.

The company’s innovative imaging and printing technology allows the creation of instant content, including the printing of customised personal books on the spot.

The project is a collaboration between HP Innovative Imaging and Printing Technologies; Katha, a leading children’s literacy forum and publisher of children’s books; adman-lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

The book which was launched in the capital this week was created in a collaborative storywriting programme for children in the age group of 9 to 14.

The programme included a series of workshops in six cities across India with 1,400 participants from more than 100 schools. A panel of judges, including Geeta Dharmarajan, founder and executive director of Katha, and Joshi, selected 31 short stories from among 1,400 entries by children who attended the workshops and compiled them into a book by HP Printing.

“A printer is a device which people usually look at passively, but we wanted people to look at it creatively. We have been trying to project the printer as a output of creativity. A lot of customised and creative printing is beginning to happen on the printer - but in the shorter run,” Neeraj Sharma, president of HP Imaging & Printing Group, told IANS.

He said, “HP Ink Advantage prints quality books at affordable prices.”

Dharmarajan, writer and founder of Katha, said “her organisation has always encouraged children to acquire and develop sustainable learning skills”.

“The project helped us give children a unique platform to develop new age content,”Dharmarajan said.

“Information technology, storytelling, pen, paper, storytelling and printing - all have their spaces in literature. They may be standalone activity which merge to create good literature,” Dharmarajan said.

The project director, Gauri Palachandran of Katha, told IANS, “The present generation of children has a lot more exposure to various forms of extra-curricular activities like storytelling, literature and life. They are very clear cut about what they want to do. It was difficult to shortlist the stories.”

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