She is on a short trip to Bangalore to conduct a workshop forchildren and is gearing up for the first of the classes to open tomorrow and we could catch up for a chat. Read on…
Hi Anumeha! How are you! Welcome. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
This workshop is for children between 5 to 12 years and we will be exploring theatre through mundane objects along with making puppets literally out of junk.
Education has become a race and you study to get good grades only and nothing else. I want to change that by givingchildren an option to have fun while learning and understand what they are reading. I am a trained teacher. So as an educator and as a student of Performing and Fine arts, I bring the experience of teaching and arts to education – thus The Arts in Education!
Tell me about your childhood. Where were you born?
I was born in Calcutta and I still like calling it Calcutta as opposed to Kolkata. My childhood was full of people, experiences, emotions, things to learn, things to do, full of stories and everything that could lead to one.
What did you study?
How did the present idea come up? How did entrepreneurial ideas come out?
I started Prishth as something I was doing to break away from writing my thesis and soon one little step led to another and it started to turn into a business. It’s been a roller coaster ride, and I continue to discover.
What is the USP of your idea with The Arts in Education?
They can expect absolute clarity. Since I look at everything as a learning experience, I talk to those working with me a lot to understand what exactly they are looking for and discuss ways in which I can best deliver. I always feel that I’m doing it for myself and not for someone else. It’s been the same mantra for Prishth, Sabsamay, for teaching and for writing.
As an experienced teacher, what should be the best way to teach children?
Give children enough space, let them be and just watch. You would find that they have several questions, doubts, opinions and choices they want to explore, talk to you about and ask. Once you let them be free, they come out with the most interesting of topics and amaze you.
I also never use the word ‘NO’. Using strong negative words like ‘Don’t’, ‘No’ actually work in the reverse. You should suggest a better way of doing it or divert their mind to something else. Encourage what they want to do and learn.
Tell me more about the workshop – Dramamama Puppet Wuppet and what can children and parents expect from this?
The workshop is open for children between 5 to 12 years and is conducted for 90 minutes everyday for five days. Children learn to express, emote and act during this workshop and are taught to express freely and openly without inhibitions and bring out their creativity using puppets and characters. This time I am conducting this workshop at The Collage.
How do puppets help children emote?
You would be surprised to find what children go through. Though most adults don’t actually believe, children go through a lot of stress these days and cannot share it with anyone. Children have stress, inhibitions and fears from their daily routine and this workshop provides children a platform to enter a character to move and act as an independent thereby helps them to turn their problems to positivity in a creative way. I have seen the most quietest of children come out and express themselves beautifully with puppets.
After buying Prishth products, I have had people write back with lovely notes telling me how much their gifts were appreciated. I have also had several parents of the children I teach remind me every time I speak with them in person or over long distance conversations and emails how I made a lasting difference in their children’s lives. But the best feedback I get, is from my children, when even after years of teaching them, they remember, and the love, affection and trust they show day after day makes up for several special moments.
I plan to continue going from strength to strength and build the vision I have of a mahasangam. I am also writing stories and curricula for children. I would like to keep those plans private for now, until such time that they start taking a more concrete shape.
Any message for our readers and new entrepreneurs?
It’s painful and scary to walk your own path, especially when the grass is still green and high and you can’t see what dangers lie beneath. Be brave anyway, and start walking. You will learn to face those dangers and they will learn to respect you.
If you have children and you want to give them a bit of exposure to arts and theater and help their creativity soar, reach out to this workshop today!