- Review by Sarita Aryal, Edited by Nistha Shrestha
Kartikeya is a renowned author who has been working towards the promotion of reading and writing culture for children since the last two decades. Kartikeya, the leader of Mount Everest Storytelling Express is also a skilled story teller. He has already travelled more than 43 districts of Nepal in his storytelling journey. He is also the founder of Kartikeya Trust through which he has been providing Kartikeya Child Talent Award every year to talented children. Recently, author Kartikeya has published his three children’s story collections in Braille script from Children’s Literature Foundation Nepal (CLFN), including some of his best selections,as a valuable gift for visually impaired children from different background. It is a challenging opportunity for visually impaired children of Nepal to get any books published in Braille script. It is very difficult for them to get even the necessary course books in Braille script. In this context, it is a historic as well as a praiseworthy moment for visually impaired children that they have got a golden opportunity to read the best three children’s story collections published in Braille script by a single author at once. I think that they will be motivated towards writing the literary creations along with the entertainment and they will also get the real pleasure of reading literature on their own after reading all the three story collections.
I got an opportunity to read all the best stories by author Kartikeya from his three children’s story collections published in Braille script and it was a quite new and different experience for me. I have been confronted with various difficulties due to the lack of course books since my school time as I am also a visually impaired person by birth. During my school time, there were a limited number of course books in Braille script and we had to read them by sharing with classmates. Therefore, reading the literary books in the Braille script was not accessible. Though I had a great interest in literature, there was no option rather than listening some of the literary programs in radio to quench the thirst of reading literature. This time, I got a real pleasure of reading literature when I read the three children’s story collections by author Kartikeya in Braille script. I am grateful to him that he gave me the chance to present the analysis in the book launching ceremony of his three children’s story collections published in Braille script. I also went through the flash back of my beautiful childhood memories while reading the three story collections. I have also felt that the reading of these story collections has activated the awareness of literature inside me and tempted me to write children’s stories myself.
The following are the children’s story collections by author Kartikeya published in Braille script:
1. “Waha! DunotPasalekiChhori” and other child stories :
A. “WahaDunotPasalekiChhori”, B. “Ram Ra Shyam Dubai Bessari Roe”, C. “Cable Carko Katha”, D. “Driver Uncle Kina Roe”, E. “Duster Udyo”, F. “Hanumanle Surya Nile”
2. “Ma ChorHoina” and other children’s stories :
A. “Ma ChorHoina”, B. “Rajan Maya NamaraHai”, C. “BidakoBela”, D. “Didiko Maya”, E. “Kanchhi”, F. “Lau VaiHarayo”
3. “ Sacchaiko Hero Ho Krishna Bahadur” and other children’s stories :
A. “Sacchaiko Hero Ho Krishna Bahadur”, B. “ChhiKastoNaramro ”, C. “PiririkoDesh”,D. “ParikoKalpana”, E. “NayaBarsha”, F. “ChitileKhelyoHoli”
All the above listed stories are the beautiful documentation for the entertainment and literary pleasure of children. There are altogether six stories by author Kartikeya in each story collection. children can be able to bring positive change in their behavior from the various literary elements in every story of author Kartikeya such as beautiful child psychology, meaningful message, healthy entertainment, social norms and values, satire against various discriminations along with the beautiful presentation of fantasy. Some of the stories, such as “WahaDunotPasalekiChhori” carry a deep lesson or message not only for children but also for the people of other age groups. One of the most interesting thing about author Kartikeya is that he has not given a direct message to children about what should be done and what should not be done. But children can automatically gain the hidden message after they finish reading every story. I think that this is one of the best feature and quality of a real author. Similarly, the imaginative story “Duster Udyo” has not only provided a full package of entertainment but also has provided an ironical message for both the teachers and the students.
Author Kartikeyahas published these three children’s story collection in Braille script for free distribution to visually impaired children throughout the country in the memory of his beloved mother Durga Devi Ghimire, “Devanayakiramanujadashi.”
To publish Braille book is very costly due to which Braille books are published in a limited amount. Similarly another misfortune is that most of visually impaired children are from poor economic background and they cannot afford the costly Braille books. In such a difficult scenario, author Kartikeya has taken a praiseworthy step by publishing his best story collections for visually impaired children. In this regard, I want to express my gratitude to author Kartikeya, Children’s Literature Foundation Nepal and his heavenly mother Durga Devi Ghimire “Devanayakiramanujadashi” for their courtesy to publish three children’s story collections in Braille script and distribute these valuable documents free of cost. It seems to me that author Kartikeya has also played a great role to inspire the concerned authorities of visually impaired group to draw their attention to this aspect which they have not cared about. I am sure that he will also give continuity by publishing his literary works in Braille script in order to develop the reading culture among visually impaired children in the days to come.