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‘India beyond mythology’

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Well-known writer turned politician Shashi Tharoor says Indian publishers have grown beyond mythology

Indian publishers have grown beyond retelling mythological and historical tales, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said at an event here, adding that children nowadays have access to good and quality literature.

Chota Bheem enthrals students of Army Public School in Bangalore
Chota Bheem enthrals students of Army Public School in Bangalore

The former HRD minister was speaking Monday at the launch of Room to Read’s 19 Indian language titles in children’s literature on the occasion of International Literacy Day. Room to Read is a non-profit organisation for improving literacy and gender equality in education.
“My parents’ peripatetic life cut me off from Malayalam literature. English language became part of my private life,” said Tharoor.

“The colonial rule made this a common predicament among urban, English-educated Indians. There are few good children’s books available in English language in the Indian market still dominated by the British writers,” he said.
Tharoor said the “one area where Indian publishers could hold themselves was in retelling the Indian classics”.
“The trend is now changing and nowadays kids have access to more English literature books than mythological and historical books,” he said.
Room to Read director Unmesh Brahme said the key to effective reading and learning is unlocking a child’s imagination and increasing the fluency and comprehension level of written and spoken words.
“The market has a big void when it comes to books that appeal to children,” said Brahme.
“We are happy that we are able to train and encourage authors to write for children. This will revive the children’s literature movement in the country,” he added.

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