A fun learning festival
Majja – a Diwali Children’s Festival will be held from November 12 to November 17 at Margao and Ponda. NT KURIOCITY gets details of how the idea of the festival was born, what it is in store this year and more
RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT KURIOCITY
Majja is a holiday camp organised by Abhinav Creationz for children. ‘Majja’, a Konkani term literally means fun and that is the aim of the two and half year old festival. It began in May 2016 from Margao and moved on to Porvorim and Ponda. This year in summer holidays, Majja took place in Margao, Ponda, Panaji and Mapusa. And now in mid-term vacations holidays, a Diwali edition of the children’s festival will be held from November 12 to November 17 at Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Vidhyanagar, Margao and Gurukul Academy, Sainagar, Ponda.
About 70-80 children are expected to participate in both the places. This year’s festival will have storytelling, poetry, art and craft and special sessions on environmental awareness and science through activities and presentations.
Partner, Abhinav Creationz, Anwesha Singbal says that their aim has always been to introduce new mediums and aspects to Majja, “especially subjects like science that children sometimes find boring because of the manner in which it is taught in schools. We also introduced History as an activity,” she says.
The idea of the festival was born one morning when Anwesha along with her business partner Amol Kamat moved from school to school with a bag full of books. It was their usual practice to visit schools showing them the children’s books they had and requesting them to buy the same. “We were in Panaji and entered the Lok Chetana School, where we happened to meet Seeta Sardesai, the headmistress. She showed us a pamphlet of a summer camp. ‘Why nothing like this happens in Konkani?’ she asked. And we thus started to ponder over the question,” adds Anwesha.
Often considered the silent partner, Amol was the first to see the opportunity and the potential in starting something like this. The duo started to discuss the idea with their friends all of whom were more than happy to be a part of it. Thus was born an idea that they had to name. She says that all through the while they had one thing in mind that this cannot be just another camp. “It should not become just another money-making business or yet another burden for children in the holidays. The children should enjoy what they are doing. They should have fun; they should have ‘majja’. With this, we had the name in hand. What better than something children can relate to immediately?” she adds.
She still remembers the first day of Majja; she had so many apprehensions and questions in mind. But the organisers were just as excited as the children were. “When I asked them for what they had come here, the answer was loud and clear, for ‘Majja’,” she recalls.
After this, there was no looking back. She says that they had struck a chord, a chord that touched the hearts of the children and everyone else involved. They knew this was not another learning camp, they knew there was no silence here. “Majja was indeed a dream; the children made it a reality. They told us they want this to continue. They wrote us letters, they clinged to me when they saw me in market, they spread the word around when the next Majja was announced and even before the holidays began, we had parents asking us the dates. We couldn’t have asked for more,” shares Anwesha.
(Majja – Diwali Children’s Festival will be held from November 12 to November 17 at Margao and Ponda. Details: 9923442746/9172112293)