Sarla Minni, also known as Kahaniwali Nani to her avid followers, is recreating the art of storytelling for children who — in today’s world — are addicted to their screens. The 61-year old Bangalore-based nani tells SheThePeople.TV that she records and broadcasts stories for children between the ages of two and 12.
She says that in today’s world children live in nuclear families and grannies aren’t there to tell stories to their grandchildren. She wants her stories to sound like a nani or dadi is there with the children, sitting in front of them and telling them stories.
Minni started broadcasting stories in March, this year. She was prompted by her niece Parul Rampuria to record a few stories. Parul then sent them to family and friends who absolutely loved them. Since then, there has been no looking back. Minni’s stories now reach over 1,500 children all over the world. Her stories are heard by children in Dubai, Nigeria, Switzerland, USA and many other countries around the world.
Minni doesn’t market the initiative. Instead, her stories are so loved that she has become popular through word of mouth. She started telling the stories in Hindi only. But in April, she has started telling them in English.
“I have so many grandchildren around the world.”
The stories are around 8-9 minutes long and are mostly value-based. Minni avidly collects and searches for different stories to tell. Stories include folk tales, festivals, the Panchtantra and much more.
Even would-be mothers, grannies, and doctors are listening to the stories.
“I want to reach as many children as possible,” she says. And in future, she will possibly take this initiative and make it even more interactive — but all of that is in the works. For now, as the number of children tuning in increases day by day, Minni is concentrating on making the stories as entertaining and enjoyable as possible.
Children love her stories. She says that she gets voice recordings from children who have listened to her. “Thank you, Nani, for a lovely story, love you Nani,” they say.
“I have so many grandchildren around the world,” she says.
Once she got a call from a mother who lives 30km near pakistan border in Kashmir. She said that there were no formal schools for her children in the area where she lives, and sparse internet connection. However, whenever there is connection, the mother uses Kahaniwali nani’s stories to teach her children. The mother told Minni that her stories have a lot of educational value.
“I want to increase the power of listening, and inculcate patience in children. I really want to spread the magic of stories for children.”
So what’s the secret behind telling a good story?
“I speak in a simple language. The child thinks someone is telling him/her a story. I want to make people more connected to my voice.”
I wanted to try out one of Kahaniwali Nani’s stories and asked her to send one to me. Hearing Kahaniwali Nani’s soothing voice telling me about an elephant and a tailor took me back to my childhood, when my grandpa used to tell me stories.
“I want to increase the power of listening, and inculcate patience in children. I really want to spread the magic of stories for children,” says the endearing Kahaniwali Nani.
Added wrong poster earlier. To get stories, Whatsapp child name, date of birth, language (hindi/English or both) to number mentioned pic.twitter.com/eq5dTFYOQ5
— 100rabh™ (@the100rabh) June 24, 2017