Parag (a Tata Trusts’ initiative), Vidya Sagar School (Chennai) and Duckbill Books invite authors to write stories featuring differently abled children in “Children First: Writing Contest”
~ To encourage authors & illustrators to include and portray children with special needs with sensitivity in their stories ~
17th November 2016: Parag, a Tata Trusts initiative, is pleased to announce a contest for authors and who are interested in writing stories featuring children with disabilities in a sensitive and caring manner.
Society, in general, doesn’t react well towards children with special needs. With a need to sensitise society and aim at including these differently abled children in all walks of life, this contest is being announced signifying a step in the right direction.
In India, it is rare to find books for children that talks about children with special needs. Books which do, don’t always portray them in a positive light thereby leading to wrong perceptions. Children need to be taught to be sympathetic and welcoming of such children, which will in turn lead to a change in the way society treats them as well. Therefore, it is extremely important that writers and illustrators recognise these children for who they are first – they are children first and just like all other children, they too can be mischievous, stubborn, playful, happy and needy.
“We need more stories for and about these children, written and illustrated with sensitivity and empathy. We therefore welcome manuscripts that feature children with special needs.” said Swaha Sahoo, who leads the Parag initiative.
This contest offers a platform to those authors who strongly recognize and identify with the absolute need to create a compassionate and empathetic world for differently abled children in India and believe that one of the ways of achieving this goal, is through their writing.
Over the past few years Parag has supported setting up a creative resource centre for children with visual impairment with tactile, braille and audio books in a public library in Chennai. Parag has also supported conversion of 15 Hindi children’s books and 18 issues of children’s magazine Chakmak into Braille in association with All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) which were distributed to over 100 schools in various states. Parag supported books Wings to Fly, Catch that Catch and Kanna Panna all feature protagonists who are feisty, active, smart, but have some form of physical disability. Over the next few years Parag aims to support more books that are inclusive in content, depiction as well as format. This is valuable not just for children with special needs, but for all children.
Authors and illustrators can submit their manuscripts that feature children with special needs until Sunday 10th December 2016 in English or translated in English.
The three best manuscripts will be awarded citations and books from Duckbill Books. They will also be considered by Duckbill Books for possible publication.
‘Parag’ is an initiative of the Tata Trusts that aims to spread the joys of reading and make reading a part of every childhood by supporting the development, dissemination and use of children’s literature in Indian languages. Over the past nine years, Parag has supported the development of 350 new books in multiple Indian languages. Titles include picture books, educational publishing, curricular material, activity books, poems and story books for various ages.
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