CHENNAI: Wanting to promote Tamil among kids, the State government has initiated a slew of measures to bring out quality writing and make available plenty of books that can kindle reading habits among children in their mother tongue.In an age when children utilise smartphones and tablets with ease and are glued to television channels that offer entertaining programmes round the clock, it is not surprising to see shelves at homes mostly void of books.
At a recent meeting with children’s writers, D Jagannathan, managing director of Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation, discussed the steps needed to be taken to revive children’s literature.“We are planning to bring out more books for children in Tamil so that learning the language can be encouraged,” Jagannathan told Express, adding the contents hold the key to fuel the reading fire in the children.
The identification of writers and encouraging them to come out with impressive writing will be part of the strategy to infuse fresh blood into one of the key areas of literature.As the readership for children’s books declines, the number of writers for kids drops as well. About six decades ago, there were about 370 writers to pen stories, verses and poems for children in Tamil.Notable among these, in the past, was Azha Valliappa who enthralled children with his interesting pieces.
The current crop of writers active in the field could be in the range of 40-50.
A 10-volume children’s encyclopaedia in Tamil was published in 1982 offering a wide range of information. Authorities of the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation have to sweat it out to find the copies of the encyclopaedia.The Corporation is contemplating to reprint the collection. “We will bring out a reprint of the children’s encyclopaedia in Tamil which is a wonderful collection of information for the kids,” Jagannathan said.