Given the very high incidence of diseases including diarrhoea because of poor hygiene particularly the easy spread of infections by houseflies, educating about the whole issue and creating awareness on simple remedies makes a lot of sense for India where an estimated 300 children die from diarrhoea alone every day. And, even if it finds a mention in school curriculum, it is either rare or peripheral. Katha, a Delhi-based non-profit, which is majorly in publication of children literature, has on its own made an attempt to close this gap and published an illustrated poem book by the title of ‘The Tale of Makkhilal’ to encourage young readers to think about hygiene, role models, the power of one and a lot more.
The poem, written by Geeta Dharmarajan, noted author and founder of Katha, talks about common mistakes in maintaining hygiene and its hazardous consequences along with simple remedies in the form of a poem. The illustrations Charbak Dipta, add to poetic delight and generating excitement among the kids to read on.
What happens when a fly becomes the god of a village? Terrible things, you’d imagine. But one person in the village sees through the fly’s wicked ploy. Would she be able to save the village?
With focus on a housefly, which is an active agent of the spread of many diseases and health problems among people in India, the book comes with additional information regarding houseflies and the diseases spread by them as well as suggestions on how one can take care of themselves against the diseases. Like every Katha book, it has a special section containing TADAA; some interesting, reflective exercises that encourage the kids to think, ask, discuss, act, and achieve.
Geeta Dharmarajan while talking about the need of book said, “This book is a call to action for students,teachers, parents, and everyone else, who cares about the fact that so many children lose their lives to a disease that can be prevented. It talks about ways to safeguard children from fly-borne diseases which is not difficult. This book gives some simple and easy tips to make cleanliness a habit.”
Priced at Rs 195 ‘The Tale of Makkhilal’ is available in English at (https://books.katha.org/product/the-tale-of-makkhilal/) and Hindi (https://books.katha.org/product/makkhilal-ki-mahima/). An e-version of the title can also be purchased on Amazon Kindle(Rs. 99).