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Soha Ali Khan launches Parag’s honour list 2021

Tata Trusts’ initiative aims to declutter the space and bring forth the best of English and Hindi literature for kids and young adults
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Shrestha Saha   |   Published 16.02.21, 01:30 AM

It is easy to get lost in the sea of noise that is being created in the name of content for children. Tata Trusts’ initiative Parag aims to declutter the space and bring you the best of English and Hindi literature for kids and young adults. From 2020, Parag has been publishing its annual honour list that is carefully curated by a jury and contains the best of children’s books of the year. The Parag Honour List for 2021 was launched on a live session by Bollywood actor and author Soha Ali Khan. An avid reader herself, the launch was preceded by a conversation about the burgeoning children’s literature industry by author and editor Bijal Vachharajani, a literacy professor at Delhi University Prachi Kalra, and author, poet and publisher Sushil Shukla. Recurring thoughts at the conversation surrounding children’s literature was the caste hegemony, the privileging of one language over another, and the didactic approach to stories. The session was moderated by Swaha Sahoo, head of the Parag initiative.

“The one thing that drew me to today’s launch and discussion was the love of literature. One thing we certainly struggle with as readers, parents and educators is that there is a lot of responsibility surrounding what we are reading ourselves and what we are introducing to our kids. So an honours list initiative is a great help to everyone out there,” said Soha as she released the names of the 15 Hindi and 20 English books on the list this year.

The Hindi list includes names like Kya Tum Ho Meri Dadi? by Sonika Deshpande published by Jugnoo Prakashan and Jungle Kiska by Samita Ulka published by Muskaan. The English list has books from houses like Pratham, Tara, Kalpavriksh and includes titles like A Saree For Ammi by Mamta Nainy, Bombay Ducks, Bombay Docks by Fleur D’Souza, Tail Tale by Anushka Ravishankar and The Miracle Of Sunderbaag by Nandita Da Cunha. The complete list can be viewed on Parag Trusts’ social media pages and website.

The Parag Honour List Hindi jury included writer, translator and editor of children’s books Arundhati Deosthale, editor and educator Gurbachan Singh, and language and linguistic teacher at Delhi University Suneeta Mishra. The English jury comprised Padmashri awardee and toymaker Arvind Gupta, Prachi Kalra and documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher Samina Mishra.

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