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Hindi story series 'Kahani Train' to reach over 1 lakh children in summer, 2022 A story a day for better literacy
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NEW DELHI, May 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Nayi Dhara, one of India's oldest Hindi literary magazines, in collaboration with  Pratham Education Foundation and Rekhta Foundation, has produced a series of  audio stories for children, KAHANI TRAIN. KAHANI TRAIN is an innovative initiative to  engage  young  children  with  language  and  literacy.

It is alarming that of the 26 million Indian children who enter first grade each year,  half will reach fifth grade unable to read or write. This problem has been further  exacerbated by school closures during the pandemic. Early years are the most  significant period of growth and development in a child's life. Strong foundations in  learning in  these  years  are  building blocks  for  higher  order  skills  that  have  a  significant impact on later life outcomes. When children start out with low literacy  and numeracy skills, they end up struggling to keep up year after year, and the  benefits  of  later  education  are  lost  to  them.

National  Education  Policy  (NEP)-2020  has  recognized  foundational  literacy  and  numeracy as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning. To this end, the  Ministry of Education, Government of India launched NIPUN Bharat Mission for FLN  with  a  call  for  attaining  foundational  learning  for  all  children in  grade  3  by  2027.

Stories  are  a  joyful  way  to  stimulate a  young  mind  and  the  benefits  of  it  are  seen  not  only  in  developing  language skills  but  in  improving  understanding   across   all  subjects. Research shows that listening to stories strengthens comprehension, helps  hone communication skills and fosters imagination and creativity in children. Once a  child's curiosity is piqued by a story they hear, they are more likely to pick up a book  to  read,  ask  questions  and  actively  engage in  their  own  education.

In  its  pilot phase,  KAHANI  TRAIN offers  40  Hindi  stories  for  children  between the  ages  of  5  and  10.  The  stories  are  a  curated mix,  diverse in  their  subject  matter  and  cultural  milieu,  and  will  be  disseminated  through Pratham's  summer  camp  programme for children, where over one lakh children will benefit from them. The  stories will be available for teachers and social workers to engage in discussions and  to  use  as  remedial tools.

For Nayi Dhara, the initiative is a part of the year-long celebration of the 100th  centenary of Nayi Dhara's founder, the well-known author, Shri Udaya Raj Sinha. Dr.  Pramath Raj Sinha from Nayi Dhara said, "Growing up in a family of Hindi literature  stalwarts, stories were a part of my foundational learning. With Nayi Dhara's latest  venture into  stories  for  children,  it  is  coming full  circle  now,  combining  my  passion  for  education  and  my  belief  that  stories can  be  a  vital  link  in  effective early  education."

KAHANI  TRAIN  series  of  Hindi  audio-stories  will  be  disseminated  by  Pratham  state teams  in  Hindi-speaking  states  for  use  with  children from  Std  1  to  8.  Volunteers,  mothers, guardians  and  community members  will  all  have  the  opportunity  to  hear  and  discuss  an  exciting  new  story  every  day.   Speaking   about   the   initiative,   Dr.  Rukmini  Banerji, CEO  of  Pratham  Education  Foundation  said,  "For  a  long  time,  I've  had  this  dream  that  every  child  in  India  should  be  able   to   listen   to   one   story  everyday. Today,  it  feels  like  Nayidhara,  Rekhta  and  Pratham coming  together  will  make  this  dream  come  true."

Mr. Sanjiv Saraf who is the driving force behind the Rekhta Foundation's efforts in  promoting the cultural legacy of the country on a global platform says he is pleased  with the launch of KAHANI TRAIN. "With this initiative Rekhta is venturing into the intriguing world of children! We intend to acquaint children with the rich cultural  heritage  of  our  past  by  imparting meaningful  content  and  creating  a   holistic  language learning experience. We hope children enjoy this as much as we enjoyed  creating  it  for  them.", he  said.

The  programme  is  also  available free  of  cost  here.

ABOUT  NAYI  DHARA

Set up in 1950, Nayi Dhara is one of the oldest Hindi literary magazines that has  continuously been in print from Patna. With a mission to promote quality Hindi  writing, Nayi Dhara has been a literary home for stalwarts of 'Hindi Sahitya' such as Mahadevi Verma, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Ramdhari  Singh  'Dinkar',  Rahul  Sankrityayan,  Ramavriksha  Benipuri  and  Phanishwar  Nath  'Renu'. The tradition of bringing high-quality Hindi literature in a variety of genres  continues to  this  day  with  over  10,000  literary works  having  been  published  so  far  by  over  3,000  authors.

Nayi Dhara is now available on digital platforms including its website,  Instagram,  Facebook,  and  YouTube  channel.  Nayi  Dhara  digital  offers Hindi  literature  lovers a  host of offerings in the form of webinars, podcasts, videos, literary posts and other  media.

Nayi  Dhara  was  founded  by  the  well-known  Bihari  author  Udaya  Raj  Sinha  and  is  now  helmed  by  his  son  Pramath Raj  Sinha,  founder and  trustee  of  Ashoka  University  and  founding Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB).

ABOUT  REKHTA  FOUNDATION

The Rekhta Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Urdu language. Toward this end, in  2013, Rekhta  (http://rekhta.org/) was launched and has become the world's biggest and most  promising citation site in Urdu poetry and Urdu prose. Apart from this, festivals like  Jashn-e-Rekhta  were  also  organized  to  bring  diverse colors  and  flavors of  Urdu  to  the  world.  The  Urdu  language  soon  became  the  centerpiece  of  this  festival, celebrating  its  rich  cultural  heritage.

There have also been two new websites launched through the Rekhta Foundation  under  the  names  of  'Hindwi'  (https://www.hindwi.org/)  and  'Sufi  Nama'  (https://sufinama.org/). Just like Urdu, these initiatives were also taken to promote  Hindi literature and Sufi traditions respectively. Hindwi is a feature-rich website  dedicated  to  Hindi  literature,  whereas,  Sufi  Nama  is  an attempt  to  offer  mysticismand  devotional  literature  through  a  rich  collection  of  unique  Persian poems  and  prose. Having  seen  the  unending  success of  the  Rekhta  website,  the  Rekhta  Foundation is now working to develop similar websites for the other Hindustani  languages,  thus  ensuring  their  preservation  in  due  course.

ABOUT  PRATHAM  EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Pratham is an innovative learning organization created to improve the quality of education in India. Established in 1995 to provide education to children in the slums  of Mumbai, Pratham has grown in both scope and scale, with programs today  reaching  children  and  youth  across the  country.

As  one  of  the  largest   non-governmental   organizations   in   the   country,   Pratham  focuses on high-quality, low-cost and replicable interventions to address gaps in the  education system. Working directly with children and youth as well as through large- scale  collaborations  with  government  systems, Pratham  programs   reach   millions   of  lives  every  year.  Pratham's Teaching  at  the  Right  Level  (TaRL)  approach  has  demonstrated  proven  impact  on  children's  learning outcomes   and   is   now   being  adapted  to  contexts  outside India.

For media queries, contact:
Arti Jain  arti.jain@nayidhara.in

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