Books play a very crucial role in everyone’s life, more so that of kids. As they say, books are considered man’s best friend — the wealth of knowledge they give is unparalleled. There are few publishers that have dedicated themselves for children, and Katha Books, founded by Padma Shri Geeta Dharmrajan in 1988, is one of them.
Katha Books has now come up with five books under its new Supergirls Series of books titled Wash Action Guide, Play A Trick, Find A Solution, Lead The Way and Make A Difference. Edited by Geeta Dharamrajan herself, the series costs Rs 555.
Each of these books contains playful stories and poems that teach about the basics of personal hygiene and ways to stay healthy. Engaging visuals and imaginative narrations make each of these books an interesting read. And above all what role children can and should play in educating their communities about these issues.
These books will lead kids to think, ask, discuss and debate issues like cleanliness, open defecation, safe drinking water, adolescent issues and importance of toilets etc. Also, these will surely make children sit up think, get up and take action, basically do whatever that is there in their might to improve their lot. Isn’t that the success of any book – to make its readers act!
Lead The Way talks about importance of maintaining personal hygiene. It tells simple basic etiquettes that go a long way in keeping diseases at bay like covering your mouth while sneezing, washing hands after passing urine or before eating food and importance of toilets.
Through the story of two sisters, Tara and Nila, Play A trick tells kids why should they take care of their body and how should they go about it.
Make A Difference is all about water. It talks about where does water come from and why it is important to conserve it. It talks about importance of storing water in properly covered clean pots.
Find A Solution teaches about menstrual hygiene, and also busts the myths associated with menstruation. This particular book, I feel, should be given for reading to not just girls but also their mothers as it is the older women, seeped in superstitions, who need to be educated first and foremost. Often through their false beliefs they instill fear in their daughters leading to repetition of old patterns and behaviours.
Wash Action Guide contains a number of activities on safe water & sanitation, health & hygiene and education & empowerment that teachers must conduct to educate children. The best part is that the aims, objectives, how to go about it and what discussions to hold with children is written in detail in each activity. A teacher just has to follow it step by step.
Written in very easy English, I think these books are pretty valuable, especially for first-generation readers who have low levels of reading abilities. I strongly recommend this series to all teachers and organisations that are working with children.