Chuskit Goes to School by Sujatha Padmanabhan is another of the gems published and made openly available for all on Scribd by Pratham books. Earlier, I had reviewed The Auto that flew by the same publishers.
Similar to Wings to Fly by Sowmya Rajendran, this book also has a wheel-chair bound protagonist. Set in a village in Ladakh, the story is about a nine-year old disabled girl who yearns to go to school, and eventually, how it is made possible.
Chuskit cannot walk, unlike her friends and younger brother Stobdan. The mountainous terrain of Ladakh is not kind to people with disabilities, and so Chuskit cannot go to school. Crossing a stream or braving a pebble-laden path is not for a wheel-chair ridden child. She has to content herself with watching the world through the windows of her home.
One fine day, Abdul, a boy from the school tries to understand why she doesn’t to attend school. He proposes to the school Headmaster that they should do something to address Chuskit’s problem and get her to school.
How do they make this possible? Read this engaging book to find out.
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- A problem that doesn’t touch our lives is empathetically dealt with as the central theme of the story. Kudos to the author and publishers for bringing to light such difficulties of disabled people.
- The use of local terms and words like Aba-ley and Julley, enhances the story giving it a local flavor. There is a glossary of these words at the end of the book.
- The sketches and illustrations by Madhuvanti Anantharajan, particularly where Chuskit watches the world through her window, bring the setting in front of our eyes.
- This book is available in Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu as is the norm with Pratham books. In addition, it is also available in Ladakhi, thanks to the efforts of Avalokiteśvara Trust.
- Find Pratham books on Scribd. I downloaded this book from their Scribd channel, where they have released about 400 of their books under Creative Commons Licence.
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- Isn’t it strange that adults do not have a second thought about enabling a child to go to school, whereas a child thinks it should be done?
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- This book is meant for level 3 readers, for children who are ready to read on their own.
- Children with disabilities attend the Government Middle School of Chuchot Yokma village in Leh. The book is a collaborative initiative between NIPWD (Namgyal Institute for People With Disabilities) and Pratham books.
- This book is being made into a movie, says a tweet from Pratham books. Hoorah!