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ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO TELL TALES

Turning the tables in a way, children who love listening to stories are now earnestly honing their storytelling skills in order to participate in the annual Shenoi Goembab Storytelling Competition organised by Konkani Bhasha Mandal (KBM). The competition is already underway at the school level and children are given an opportunity to tell their stories in their own way, but in Konkani. The final competition will be held on August 20, 2017.
Anwesha Singbal, coordinator of the competition, has been associated with Konkani Bhasha Mandal for many years and has seen the competition grow from a few talukas to every taluka of Goa. “There are three rounds for the competition. The first round is held in the various schools where the competition is held from mid June to August 10, 2017. From each school, two students are selected for the centre level. The 16 centres will select students for the finals which will be held on August 20,” informs Anwesha.This year, the competition will be organised in 16 centres across Goa, which includes 12 centres in 12 talukas and four additional centres in Ponda, Cuncolim, Porvorim and Panjim. “Nearly 70 per cent of the schools in Goa participate in this competition, making it one of the biggest storytelling competitions in Goa. Earlier, we had plans to make it into a festival but we felt that it will not receive the same enthusiasm as it does when infused with the spirit of competition. The necessity to increase the centres has risen due to large number of participants from these two talukas. Earlier, talukas like Pernem and Sanguem were not participating but over the years, these talukas have also increased in participation,” says Anwesha optimistically.The competition will be held in three categories: Classes 1 to 4, Classes 5 to 7 and Classes 8 to 10. There are no restrictions on subject, however the time allotted to different categories is 2 to 4 minutes, 3 to 5 minutes and 4 to 6 minutes respectively. In order to give more representation to the performers at the state level competition for the centres where the participants are in large numbers, the judges may select more winners for every additional 15 participants.“Last year, we organised a special workshop for teachers from aided and unaided primary schools with regard to the Shenoi Goembab Kathamal and this year, we organised the same for aided and unaided high school teachers. “The response has been great and they are very enthusiastic about training their students for the competition. The students are free to speak in any dialect of Konkani and there is no theme for the competition. They should feel comfortable speaking in the language and tell their stories fluently. They will be awarded participation certificates for the school and centre competitions. The competition encourages students to start reading Konkani stories and increases their love for reading and Konkani,” explains Anwesha.
One of the biggest challenges of this competition for the organisers was finding judges for each of the 16 centres. Each centre has three judges, including high school teachers, radio jockeys and theatre personalities. “We require at least 150 judges for the school and centre level of the competition and we have around 250 volunteers working to make this competition successful. The Goa Yuvamahotsav participating groups have been volunteering with us for this competition for three years now, without which we would not be able to handle the 16 centres,” she says. The state level competition will be held on August 20, 2017 at the Konkani Bhasha Mandal hall in Margao. [H]

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