Puppets are an aspect of our history and everyday lives. From marionettes to the Muppets we see them on television, on videos or in live performances. In their different forms they appeal to both old and young alike, represent different customs and traditions and are valuable educational tools. Puppets are both entertaining and captivating. Children can believe and relate to them; they can enter and explore the fascinating inventive world that puppets create.
Learning through play is fundamental to our children's education, helping them to develop the necessary skills in life. Puppets can stimulate children's imagination, encourage creative play and discovery and are a wonderful interactive way to introduce narrative to even the most reluctant reader. They can be a powerful way of bringing story time to life; puppets can provide a focus for role play, encouraging the child's imagination and involvement in activities and can play a fundamental part in the recitation of stories and verse. In addition, hand puppets with workable mouths and tongues are an excellent motivational resource to inspire the teaching of phonics within literacy.
SEVAK has selected traditional Puppetry folk media as media for communicating Science and social issues to the public in general and students groups in particular. The reasons being traditional media come from the people and antecedent the mass media. Their appeal has historically been both functional and aesthetic. Folk Medias have always served to entertain, educate to reinforce existing ideas or ideologies or to change existing values and attitudes. Being close to people at local level, these channels are potentially useful in the service of social concern, as determined by local, provincial or national authorities themselves.
Folk arts are a part of the way of life of a community and provide acceptable means of bringing development issues into the community in its own items. Another advantage of the traditional media is that they attract people who might not attend an educational meeting with skill, new content might be added to the old forms which are already familiar and dear to the people, finally, unlike mass media programmes, produced for large and often diverse audience, the folk forms can use familiar dialects for the most intimate and local communication at the village level. With the objectives of - enhance communication skills among teachers, students, youth and volunteers through traditional puppetry by training them in creation, modulating and manipulating the pipe puppets - creating science related knowledge in local language - bringing innovative and fascinating learning environment in schools so that children enhance interest in school curriculum participate actively and also to rejuvenating the ancient art of traditional folk media, SEVAK has been implementing the project - Science Communication through Puppetry in 7 districts in northern Karnataka, Belagavi, Dharwad. The local science, social and Educational institutions such as Universities, Colleges of Education, Colleges of Social Work, Krishi Vignan Kendra and local Science centers in the targeted district are collaborated in implementing this project.