Articles of Inayat Ullah and Aashna Arora are eagerly awaited

September 16th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Sep 16 (IANS) Articles of Inayat Ullah and Aashna Arora are eagerly awaited by their readers. The last article of Inayat was on terrorism, while Aashna writes on women and children most of the time. Inayat is in class 6. Aashna a year junior.They are among the dozens of Bangalore schoolchildren who double up as cub reporters of a monthly magazine brought out mainly for school students.

The 48-page colour magazine is named Hoopla Club and sells for Rs.25. The publishers say the magazine’s circulation has crossed 10,000 in Bangalore in less than a year of the launch.

The magazine for those in the age group of 7-16 years will celebrate its first anniversary with the release of its 12th edition September end.

“In a year’s time, more than a hundred child journalists from different schools of Bangalore have written for the magazine. Ours is not a regular children’s magazine, where grown-ups write for children. In fact, we ask children to write news stories and articles for the magazine,” N. Jayalakshmi, Hoopla Club’s editor, told IANS.

“We arrange special field trips for the children in and around the city and interviews with prominent citizens to help them write articles. We also organise training sessions for children to inculcate media skills.”

Although, the editorial team of the magazine comprises elders, the views and ideas of the budding journalists are taken into consideration, before the subject matter of articles are chosen, said Reena A. Mirpuri, a senior member of the editorial team.

“The editorial team acts as a guiding force to help the children bring out the magazine in a successful manner. We see that the write-ups are free of grammatical errors and facts are correct. Moreover, we always encourage the reporters to present their stories in a proper news format,” added Mirpuri.

“We’re receiving enquiries from school authorities from across the country about our magazine. Soon we are going to launch the magazine in New Delhi, Hyderabad and five other cities in India,” said Balchander M. Gandhekar, proprietor and the main brain behind the magazine.

Inayat Ullah, a student of Apollo Convent School, wrote in the August Independence Day special edition that “terrorism has hugely destabilised the country and government needs strong regulations to curb it”.

Aashna Arora of Delhi Public School Bangalore (North) has strong views on the sufferings of women and children. “Abuse of women and children is rampant, but no popular television channels and newspapers cover them on a regular basis. Without the support of media, malice of the society cannot be solved,” she says.

Shilpa G.K., a class 9 student of Aryan Presidency School, titled her article for the Independence Day edition “Mera Bharat Mahaan” and wrote: “Poverty is the main issue concerning the country. We need to solve the problem”.

Some of the columns popular among the young readers are wildlife and environment, health, sports, books and entertainment.

Asked why he had started such a magazine, Balachander, who is also a documentary filmmaker, said children too have strong views on issues concerning them. “I just provided them a platform to air their views in their own words.”

To reach out to the maximum number of children, the magazine has tied up with different schools in the city.

“Our plan is to reach out to the rural belt of Karnataka and help children from the disadvantaged sections to write for the magazine. We will soon take out a Braille version of the magazine to cater to the visually challenged children,” said Jayalakshmi.

“The magazine does not merely inculcate the reading habit among students, but also gives them hands-on experience in the art of interviewing and reporting. The magazine truly ignites young minds and gives them an opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Sneh Preet Sial, principal, Delhi Public School, Bangalore (North).

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