‘I have two stories for you today, one funny and the other a little serious. Which one do you want to listen to first?’ asked Swara, the volunteer at the Jorabagan police station centre.
‘The funny one!’ the children replied in unison.
Swara then told them a story about a father and son who were walking on a road with their pet donkey. They come across a series of characters who give them different advice. For example, one character tells them to carry the donkey. Another character tells them that one should ride the donkey and the other should walk next to it and so on. None of the advice actually helps the father and son, but they follow everything blindly. In the discussion afterwards, Swara spoke of the importance of thinking for oneself and not paying heed to advice that actually means nothing.
The second, ‘serious’ story began with a mother asking her child what he thinks the most important part of the human body is. The children at the centre piped up.
‘Didi, the heart is the most important!’
Acknowledging that these were indeed important parts of the body, Swara continued with the story which ended with the mother explaining to her child that it is the shoulder which is the most important—because the shoulder offers support to others in times of need. It is important to be a source of support for one family and friends, to offer a shoulder to cry on.
The stories were short and meaningful and the children were engaged throughout. In fact, most of them voted for the second story, despite it being slightly more ‘serious’ than the first!