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  • Writer's pictureRaghu Ramachandran

Breaking stereotypes, one story a time

We had an inspiring morning of story-reading with the students of New Saraswati Shiksha Niketan in Sangam Vihar, New Delhi. Together with the students, we worked to undo stereotypes around gender. Raghu and Sharda started the session with a powerful story “The Little Chef" written by Nanditha Ravindar and illustrated by Raghu Ramachandran. By the end of the session the kids shared with us their key takeaways from the story, some of which are shared below:

“Boys and girls can all cook and help in the kitchen.”

“Boys and girls are both free to choose a profession of their choice.”

Photo courtesy: Prakhar Saxena

The students also shared their aspirations with us: becoming a dancer, joining the army, becoming a lawyer, a cricketer, a doctor and a scientist.

Photo courtesy: Prakhar Saxena

We then moved on to the second story- “Kabir the Scotch-hopper” written by Sharda Vishwanathan and illustrated by Raghu Ramachandran. The students volunteered to read the story in English as Raghu translated it in Hindi. The students enjoyed reading this story and shared with us that be it cricket or hopscotch, every game can be played by both boys and girls. They also came to acknowledge that it is always fun when everyone plays together without differentiating between the genders. As we ended the session, all the students, excitedly shouted in chorus, “Sab ke saath khelne mein mazaa aata hai.”

Photo courtesy: Prakhar Saxena

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our training partner The Red Elephant Foundation for their support. Also, many thanks to Prakhar Saxena, Consultant, Community Aggregator for Teach for India, for this opportunity and for all the support in making this happen.

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