Muskaan Litfest for Child Authors

30 young authors of India get a forum to showcase literary talent at the Muskaan Litfest for Child Authors.

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For the first time, India’s 30 school-going students from across the country got an opportunity to showcase their literary talent and creativity at the three-day `Muskaan Litfest for Child Authors’ – under the Muskaan initiative of Kolkata-based non-for-profit trusts, Prabha Khaitan Foundation and Education for All Trust.

Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr Munjapara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, graced the event on day one and interacted with the young authors. “Muskaan is a brilliant initiative of PKF to give a platform for the young talented writers to showcase their works and inspire future talents,” the minister said. He also gave certificates to the young authors.

Some of the country’s leading social, cultural, corporate and literary organizations came together for the first time to host this unique literature festival held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) premises in Delhi. The young authors got an opportunity and a national forum to tell their stories and share literary ideas over 15 sessions, many workshops, interactions, and performances. Heart-warming poetry recitations by Aviraj Singhvi from Udaipur and Saina Sarin from Gurugram followed.

In a message, Ruskin Bond, the most popular, loved, and revered author among the children lauded the Prabha Khaitan Foundation for its commendable efforts to promote the habit of reading among children through the Muskaan initiative.

The three-day Litfest (Jan 10-12) was organized in collaboration with IGNCA and association with India International Centre and Sahitya Akademi as the knowledge partner. Shree Cement supported the event as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.

The festival was inaugurated in the presence of Priyank Kanoongo, Chairman National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Also present on occasion were Sachchidanand Joshi, member secretary, the executive and academic head of IGNCA; K N Shrivastava, Director of IIC; and K Sreenivasarao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi.

“Literature is the mirror of society. It is important to provide child authors with the right environment and upbringing to promote literature,” Kanoongo said. He asserted that children should take more interest in writing and literature instead of social media.

The evening was marked by a scintillating cultural programme, ‘Udaan’ conceptualised by Shinjini Kulkarni, Ehsaas Woman of Prabha Khaitan Foundation. Huma Khalil Mirza, Ehsaas Woman of Delhi and Unnati Singh, Ehsaas Woman of Indore, also chipped in and livened up the show. Teams of women achievers who work to create cultural capital and assets are a part of the Ehsaas Woman network in major cities of India under the aegis of the Prabha Khaitan Foundation.

Dancer and choreographer Avirup Sengupta, who works with specially-abled children through Prayas Foundation, presented an enthralling performance. The Foundation had flown in children from Kolkata for the special performance.

The latest issue of the PKF newsletter Prabha, based on the theme of children’s literature, was formally released.