Chetan Vohra’s journey of educating kids the right way ironically began when he scored 42 percent in his Class XII Board exams. The fact that he was not eligible to follow a mainstream course thanks to his poor marks opened up new vistas for him. He pursued Visual Art & Design at the Vancouver Film School in Canada. Ever since he has wanted to make ‘good content’ for kids. “Entertainment is food for the soul, and we need to start eating healthy!” is the motto that drives him.
In 2015, when Vohra moved back to his hometown Pune, he began spending a lot of time with his nephew. During a family visit to Nepal, they were at the Chitwan National Park, when his nephew on spotting a rhinoceros, said, “I will lift it over my head and throw it on my enemies!” While everyone laughed it off, Vohra found himself wondering, “Why does a child want to pick up an animal weighing around one tonne and throw it on his enemies? Why does a child even have enemies?” This is when he began noticing a lot of behaviours that children were picking up from their favourite cartoons—trash talking, violence, throwing tantrums, belittling others, sexism, foul language, name-calling, ill-treating animals and more—all presented as ‘entertainment’.
This alumnus of Whistling Woods International Film School, Mumbai, set out to create content that is wholesome, mindful, and inclusive. Thus was born the idea of Sochu—a children’s book and TV series that celebrates the process of thinking. Through Sochu, Vohra aims to provide the kind of entertainment that can open up newer perspectives, help children deal with varying levels of pressure and be exposed to the diversity in our society. Every day, through different situations, Sochu and his friends come across a quote or a thought that they don’t know the meaning of. Through the journey of the story, they understand these quotes in their own way, adding a whole new meaning to them.
“Sochu embodies 21st-century skills such as collaboration, non-violent communication, creative thinking, problem-solving, gender equality, empathy, kindness, experiential learning and more,” says the creator, who is now planning to launch another series with a new character. He is also creating a 3D animated feature film script about superheroes and finalising a pilot episode for an OTT outing. “We want to make Sochu truly Chaplinesque,” he says.