The need for writers to produce significant works of literature for children and for the younger generation to develop a passion for reading was impressed upon by leading authors participating in a session at the ongoing WIC India Dehradun Community Literature Festival here.
In the session titled "I Want To Hear A Story: Importance Of Children's Literature And Storytelling," authors Ranjit Lal and Santhini Govindan, along with educator Jonathan Long, participated in about an hour-long interactive session with the audience.
The panel drew the attention of the audience -- comprising mostly of young students from the many famed schools in this hill station -- to the many ignored facets of children's literature.
"Kids are far more important as far as reading and literature is concerned because if children don't read, they are not going to read as adults when they grow up too. I feel it is extremely important for writers to write for children and for children to develop the love for reading," said Ranjit Lal, one of India's foremost children's writers.
He also voiced his concerns over people generalising children's literature and the authors who write for children.
"It is not that a children's book is meant for children only and that adults cannot read it. There is a lot in the children's books that adults can actually learn from. When somebody asks me why don't you write for adults, I simply reply saying that I write for children from the age 10-60," he added tongue-in-cheek.
The insightful discussion that was followed by a question and answer session also touched upon some sensitive issues of gender equality, puberty and raising consciousness about important issues among children through literature.
This is the second edition of WIC India Dehradun Community Literature Festival. Organised by World Integrity Centre, the lit fest began on April 19 and concludes on Saturday evening.
(Saket Suman is in Dehradun at the invitation of World Integrity Centre. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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