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Webinar on ‘‘The Academic Study of Children’s Literature’, a workshop by Room to Read in partnership with USAID India and Doon University

USAID India and Doon University
USAID India and Doon University

A two day webinar was organized by the Room to Read on 6th and 7th July in partnershipwith Doon University and USAID.The workshopaimed to offer brief windows of insight into the various aspects of the field of children’s literature, and why reading and studying children’s books, especially in the Indian context, has value.Research around the world suggests that children’s literature creates foundational pathways for language acquisition in readers, encourages an active imagination, and helps them explore new experiences. There is a need to explore the relevance of children’s literature in higher education in India. We strive to explore some interesting questions that come up around the subject of the formal study of children’s literature.

During inaugural note Doon University’s Vice Chancellor Surekha Dangwal talked on children’s literature and emphasized on collating regional attitude and culture, folklore into children literature which add value in the local custom while enriching the literature for children. She said “I think a good literature will provide a quality discussion and dissemination of information among the children and also it is important to transmit the stories from one society to other society through grandparents”. She has also extended her hand in developing courses around in the Universitywith collaboration with Room to Read.

The two day workshop was joined by various subject matter expert professors from Doon University, Ambedkar University and Delhi University. Ms Alisha Berger, Associate Director, Room to Read Global Office brought forth Global perspective and experiences in Children Literature. Dr Anto Thomas, Associate Professor, St. Thomas College talked about the role of children literature in higher education. Dr Usha Mudiganti, Associate Professor, Ambedkar University elaborated in Children Literature and subtext. Dr Priti Joshi, Associate Professor, University of Delhi dwell into details of Children Literatire and Early Literacy.

A panel discussion was also organized in which writers and authors joined to discuss the importance of local language and preserving it for the children literature. Room to Read State Manager, Pushplata Rawat highlighted availability of children literature in 42 languages globally. These are digitally available on Nand Kishore Hatwal from SCERT Uttrakhand pointed out towards key features of New Education Policy 2020 where role of local languages is specificallymentioned in curriculum design and should be included in children’s literature. Dr Diti Vyas talked about the directions that academic research in children literature in regional languages can take. Mr Mukesh Nuatiyal and MrManhor Chamoli talked to mutual learning among different languages and taking them all together.

Room to Read’s program director Saktibrata Sen talked about the importance of children’s literature in digital world. Room to Read’s Country director Sourav Banarjee, said as an organization we would like to create further opportunities to introduce course on children’s literature in collaboration with Doon University and other universities of the country.

The program was moderated by the Dr. Richa Joshi, Head English department, Doon University and Room to read’s state head Pushplata Rawat. The webinar was attended by more than 600 participants from various universities, institutions, organization.

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