Katha Jharna story cards in Hindi

We are pleased to announce that Katha Jharna, the popular set of 100 story-cards in Hindi, is now being published by the Rajalakshmi Srinivasan Memorial Foundation (RSMF) as a part of its efforts to provide high quality educational materials at near cost-price, aimed particularly at the disadvantaged children in our society. This set of laminated four page story-cards, each one attractively illustrated, has been widely used for several years by educationists engaged in teaching school-going children as well as drop-outs in both urban and rural areas. The cards do not get damaged easily and is ideal for shared reading by school children sitting in a class room or library. The story cards were originally created in Tamil by four educationists (P. Saraswati,  V.Vijayakanthi, L.S. Saraswathi and S. Rajalakshmi) to instill the love of reading in young learners from all sections and communities.

Click here for viewing the Katha Jharna story cards.

Features of Katha Jharna story cards

  • The stories are written in simple Hindi for primary classes and serve as attractive supplementary reading materials that capture the interest and curiosity of children and provide a natural link to their world.
  • The stories and riddles are presented in laminated cards in order to bring books within the reach of children and to let them touch, feel and see and nurture their love for reading.
  • The card format was chosen to enable several groups of children in a classroom to handle the material simultaneously; it was intended to withstand frequent use by a large number of children. The card format also gives children the flexibility and confidence to read without difficulty, completing one card after another comfortably.
  • The stories are in bold print with colourful illustrations and the aim was to bring good quality reading material at reasonable cost within the reach of underprivileged children.
  • India is one of the richest sources for storytelling and the country has an amazing variety of tales and techniques. Katha Jharna includes stories - folk, historical, humorous, mythological, science-based and contemporary - that bring in the richness and variety of our tradition in a manner that will hold the interest of children.

Why story cards?

  • A large number of children in rural schools are first generation learners. Textbooks are the only reading material available to them in schools and in their homes. Observation of classroom activities revealed that children seldom read anything other than the prescribed texts
  • There is a dearth of storybooks and supplementary reading material in most primary schools. Library experiences and reading corners inside the classroom itself can enrich the teaching and learning process and indirectly support classroom learning.
  • Explorations in the book-market showed that not many books were available that were attractive to children, with appropriate language levels and at an affordable cost.
  • In order to create a learning environment that encouraged browsing, sharing, and engaging creatively with the world of books, the need for creating exciting, child friendly print material was felt. Various research studies have clearly established that children learn easily when their creative imagination and interests are addressed by the teachers and materials, making any learning (including language learning) more meaningful and authentic.

Background to Katha Jharna

The authors had brought out the Tamil version of the story cards Kathai Aruvi in 2003 with the help of Chatnath Trust and the same was welcomed by schools and NGOs as a laudable initiative. A number of agencies had sponsored their distribution too. A research paper on impact of Kathai Aruvi story cards in selected government schools was published in the “Teachers Talk” Journal. There were articles on it in The Hindu, Economic Times, some Tamil dailies, the Revive Magazine of Learning network, etc.

At the request of Room to Read, an NGO based in Delhi, the process of bringing out a Hindi version of Katha Jharna was initiated by the team. In addition to translation, the stories were adapted to suit the cultural and language nuances of Hindi with inputs from several educationists. A few new stories were also included and riddle pages were rewritten. Katha Jharna was published in 2008.

A total of 10,000 story card sets (all languages put together) had been disseminated so far across the country, and assuming that each set of 100 story cards would have met the needs of at least two classrooms, the project is believed to have reached about 5,00,000 children.

How you can support this story cards initiative

You can help us distribute Katha Jharna among the schools, particularly from the disadvantaged sections, by sponsoring the same. Keeping this in mind, we have ensured that the production cost of one set of 100 cards is kept below Rs. 1000/-

You can also sponsor reprint of the Tamil version Kathai Aruvi, as well as bringing out versions in other Indian languages.

Please contact the Foundation for further information.