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Picture books for children

Guwahati, May 22: Unicef has joined hands with Anwesha, an NGO, to develop picture books for children in the age group of three to six years.

These books will be distributed in the Anganwadi centres across Assam.

The president of Anwesha, Paresh Malakar, said the need for such books had risen as Assamese language did not have sufficient number of picture books for children barring a few published by the National Book Trust and the Children’s Book Trust.

The organisation has invited a large number of experts, including litterateurs Arup Kumar Dutta, Bandita Phukan and Gagan Chandra Adhikari, to discuss how to develop these books. Starting today, the experts will sit together for four days in the city to develop the books.

“Children are the future. Publishing houses in Assam are not interested in publishing books for children. That is why there is a dearth of such books,” Malakar said.

Altogether six books will be prepared by the experts.

Unicef’s education specialist Pramila Manohoran said they had decided to work on the books after seeing that 13 sets of books they had distributed earlier among the children of Anganwadi centres received a good response. Those 13 books were initially developed for the tea garden community but later they were distributed among the children of Anganwadi centres.

Pramila said they had also developed a Milestone Booklet on behavioural changes of a healthy child as he grows up. “The booklet will also be available at the Anganwadi centres,” she said.

The commissioner and secretary of the department of social welfare of the state government, Hemanga Kumar Sarma, said there are 46 lakh children in Assam between the age group three and six years. He said the mental growth of a considerable section of these children was a cause of concern and these books should address issues related to them.

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