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. It helps them to develop the necessary skills in life. Puppets can stimulate children’s imagination, encourage creative play and discovery and are a wonderfully interactive way to introduce narrative to even the most reluctant reader. They can be a powerful way of bringing storytime 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 Media have always served to entertain, educate to reinforce existing ideas or ideologies or to change existing values and attitudes. 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 their 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 a large and often diverse audience, the folk forms can use familiar dialects for the most intimate and local communication at the village level.
SEVAK has been implementing the project – Science Communication through Puppetry in 7 districts in northern Karnataka, Belagavi, Dharwad, Chikodi, Koppal, Gadag, Bagalkote, Haveri and Raichur The local science, social and educational institutions such as Universities, Colleges of Education, Colleges of Social Work, Krishi Vignan Kendra and local Science centres in the targeted district are collaborated in implementing this project. In all these districts, SEVAK had trained the Science teachers, students and students of education on the preparation of puppets, scriptwriting and playing, voice modulation, and to adopt science and social science subjects communicated through puppetry media.
As a result of the training and workshops, a total of 600+ teachers and students of education have trained in the adoption of traditional puppetry as a means and tools of education to communicate science to the students and general public. A total of four Colleges of Education have started a department of alternate and innovative education laboratories to teach puppetry means top the students.
Villages and rural communities are conservative towards scientific education due to cultural and language limitations. SEVAK believes that puppetry can be a more useful tool to educate the people of villages limited by beliefs and language. This is due to the puppetry’s folk aesthetics and the potential to deliver information at an intimate and local communication level. Our science communication through puppetry is intended to help these people with consumable scientific education through audience-based storytelling. Join us and be a part of this important mission to help develop the scientific knowledge of the people of rural and village areas.