Unlike before when most of us grew up listening to our parents and grandparents, sharing life’s most valuable lessons through interesting anecdotes, we now live in times when kids grow up in households with working parents. The only social lessons they learn is perhaps from the moral science classes that are also given little or no importance in schools where education is now all about grades and not about learning. It was this void that, Nivedita Ravi, a young mother of two girls wanted to fill.
“Today, we are facing so many issues like global warming, pollution, water scarcity, drought etc., that we need to educate our kids about. We need to encourage them to use the available resources responsibly right from a young age. So I wanted to do something to inculcate a sense of responsibility among my children through something they encounter every day, something that’s not preachy. That’s when I thought of doing it through book labels, that every kid is excited about,” says Nivedita.
Nivedita started off by making labels for her daughters, aged 7 and 12, with short educational messages that range from “Let’s not spit in public places”, “Save paper”, and “Let’s not litter to make our lives better” to health and safety advice like “Always wear a helmet when you ride”, “Wash fruits before eating” etc. The labels with catchy illustrations conveying messages on issues like healthy eating, sustainability and good habits, also have a personal touch: they have pictures of her children.
“I didn’t want to have superhero or cartoon characters, but something more meaningful and personal. And I started to notice changes in my kids in no time. Whether it is switching off a fan when they’re leaving a room or throwing a wrapper in the dustbin, they’ve become more socially conscious. They even tease me when I don’t practise what I preach,” adds Nivedita. When other kids and their parents started asking about the labels, Nivedita started doing it on a larger scale and put together a book containing 90 labels for Rs. 299.
To place an order for the labels, one has to send three pictures of the child, along with his/her name, which class the child studies in and the school’s name. The initiative has also seen many teachers appreciate the idea. “Children unconsciously imbibe these values as they are repeatedly exposed to it each time they open a book. We will also be launching it in Tamil soon so they reach more kids,” concludes Nivedita.