Expats from NCR, who took part in storytelling, book signing, reading, puppet shows, writing workshops, panel discussions and parent workshops, were impressed by the variety of cultural and literary meets at the festival.
The first edition of Gurgaon Children’s Literature Festival in Vega School saw a horde of parents show up for various engaging sessions.
Expats and their children too participated in the festival.
Roberta Mozzato, a Canadian citizen and parent of a grade 2 student in a private school in Gurgaon, said, “This was an amazing experience for my daughter and I too enjoyed it. We have been living in Gurgaon for the last three years but this was a new experience. The storytelling sessions were very good,” he said.
During the festival, renowned authors such as Benita Sen, Himanjali Sankar, Payal Dhar, Yashodhara Lal and Haimanti Mitra brought their stories to life.
Illustrators and animated storytellers such as Arunima Shekhar, Dr Tanushree Singh, Sreedevi Gopakumar, Kamal Pruthi, Yuveka Singh narrated magical tales that had the children spellbound.
The main objective was to explore the creativity of students so as to develop their interest in reading and storytelling.
Bradley Brigance, from Texas,US, said such events happen frequently in their own country but are a rarity in Gurgaon. “I have been to many such festivals around India, but this was different. The children and adults enjoyed book signing, puppet shows and the other programmes.”
The Gurgaon Children’s Literature Festival has received an overwhelming response from families and residents.
According to Jenny Ferguson from Australia, the story reading sessions were pretty engaging for her eight-year-old daughter. She said she would tell her friends about it and encourage them to come to the festival on Sunday.
Sandy Hooda, Co-Founder, Vega Schools, said, “We have invited writers from all over the country who have made a name in children’s literature. The purpose of the festival is to make reading entertaining for children and encourage parents to build a reading relationship with their child.”
“The literature festival is an effort to build a passion for reading among children and parents. It is a small movement to bring awareness in Gurgaon about reading good literature and is effort to instil creativity, imagination, and communications, in our students,” he said.
Parent Sandeep Balani said, “This is the best way to keep children away from television and they love storytelling sessions. They expect the same from us every night and today we learnt a new way of engaging them.”