The storytelling series ‘Storyland’, in Odia, on YouTube by journalist turned storyteller Prachitara is gaining momentum. Prachitara, in conversation with OdishaLIVE, reveals on how this ‘old form of entertainment’ in the new age is catching up the attention of children.
What is the objective of launching a YouTube channel on storytelling?
In a nuclear family set up, where technology has taken precedence and parents are struggling to balance work and family, children often get deprived of the traditional and quintessential way of learning. Storytelling is the most effective way if done impressively to inculcate values among children. My YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/prachitarafilms)is one of its kind of initiative that is not available anywhere. Every Friday I upload a new story on YouTube which connects me with my target audience, globally.
How do you choose stories?
My stories are always message based. Every story is carefully selected for different points that interest children and they leave with a new set of knowledge and value. I do not focus on a single type of story rather I try to acquire all kinds’ namely folk tales, moral stories, animal stories etc. I also try to cover different eminent authors focussing on the Odia literary field for children.
How does it impact children?
Storytelling is an old way of teaching and instilling life values and is one of the most effective forms of entertainment. Listening to stories allow children to enhance their imagination instead of depending on visual characterization which restrict them to the same cartoons and characters.
What is the reason to begin with stories in Odia?
The focus on telling stories in Odia is to prioritize our mother tongue among the odia speaking people. Children who study in English medium schools and the people who live outside Odisha are very much attracted to Odia storytelling because it allows them to understand the language in a better way. During live events I also conduct sessions in English and Hindi depending on the audience.
What is your future plan to popularise storytelling?
Currently I am doing sessions in many leading schools of Bhubaneswar. I am also doing motivating and theme based sessions for adults. Storytelling is not just telling stories. Everyone has a different take from the same story while at the same time it helps to fight against odd in real life. While addressing children I realised how much they were missing this kind of infotainment. I wish if Government can support such efforts to reach each and every child. Given a chance I would promote Odia stories in national and international platform too.