Katha Parab 2020

'Katha' is a story and 'Parab' is a festival as we call it in Jharkhand ... hence presenting KATHA PARAB online edition!

Grateful that our storytelling family joined hands. Six countries, 32 storytellers come together for a beautiful festival to remember and cherish, distant yet connected virtually through stories. Stories for teachers, parents, adults and children... stories are for everyone!

Pick up your style and need to take from a wide range of events.There are story sessions and performances to captivate and entertain. Workshops and discussions to see that you gain. Participate in our competitions and activities galore... it is time to shine, rise and soar!!!

The Story of Katha Parab

Not so long ago, in a small town of Jamshedpur, which was protected by the seven sister Dalma Hills, loved by Subarnarekha river, powered by Tata Steel, and bustling with activities of multicultural, vibrant people ... a small story start up , TheStoryMunch, founded by Richa Sinha was born.

The sole purpose of TheStoryMunch was to bring stories alive in the region and revive the traditional art of oral storytelling. Also, to increase the happiness quotient of people with stories to Create, to Focus, to Inspire, to communicate, to express and to Heal.... Stories for one and all because yes, everyone needs a story!

When the residents thought, stories were meant for children only, in one year, TheStoryMunch, touched more than 10,000 lives through stories, in schools, colleges, parks, underpriviledged groups, deaf and mute school,hospitals,old age home and orphanages.

Yet, there was a thought that surfaced often... that while lovely festivals are celebrated in the region and each had stories of their own, why never a festival to celebrate stories. And so, Katha Parab happened ... Katha is a 'story' and 'Parab' is another name for festival in Jharkhand...hence, 'Katha Parab'... a festival of stories!! (Why, the elephants as our logo, well, that is another story for another time!)

So, now Katha Parab meant a lot of effort and honestly we had negligible resources, it was an uphill task for just a two member team. Working tirelessly, seeking help, looking out for sponsors and partners was truly an experience in itself for Usha Bahadur, project coordinator, TheStoryMunch and me.

And then, it was all set... we were excited ... all the arrangements were done, printing, posters, travel tickets, decorations, logistics, gifts, promotions, hotels, everything... even the menu was set, the storytellers were preparing to start their journey ... JUST THEN , everything was put to a halt, there was panic, frantic calls were made as the Festival had to be called OFF because of the pandemic! For a new startup, u can imagine, it was a huge jolt ! Major losses suffered financial and emotional..!

Everything was uncertain, gloom, helplessness prevailed, people locked up in LOCKDOWN... We wanted to bring cheer, positivity in the these difficult times and also support Roti Bank, People for Change, Milaap and Tribal Artisans.

With little technical expertise, we took time to transform to online edition of Katha Parab.. even bigger and well connected ... Thanks to Mrs. Shraddha Agarwal for technical help and of course the technology... whatsapp, zoom and facebook !!

Katha Parab 2020 was back again ... as a month long weekend special festival ...engaging, enriching, empowering with story workshops, sessions, activities and competitions for all age groups.

I truly believe now, when you really want something and work hard honestly, the whole world joins in to make it come true! Storytelling tribe and authors joined in happily, family and friends geared up... Yes, with dreams of Katha Parab and a mission to bring PEACE in every home, HOPE in every heart and a SMILE on every face, finally, the FORCE was WITH US....!

We had an amazing start at the opening ceremony where Mrs.Geeta Ramanujam, founder, Kathalaya instilled faith with her keynote speech, Mr. Tony Cranston narrated his story on peace, Mrs. Joohi Samarpita, Mr. Surya Singh Besra, Dr. Sandhya and Mr. Anil Chitrakar shared beautiful thoughts and stories from the region.

The closing ceremony was a spectacular showcase performance .It started with an inspiring keynote address by Mr. Roger Jenkins, Director, Federation of Storytellers(FEAST) followed by wonderful 'stories of stories' with master storytellers Mrs. Jeeva Raghunath, Founder, KathaiKalatta, Director, FEAST , Mrs. Geeta Ramanujam, Founder, Kathalaya, Mr. Usifu Jalloh, the Cowfoot Prince and Mrs. Rituparna Ghosh, Founder, Your Story Bag.. oh what expressions and style!! Mr. M. K. Sinha, working as an OSD, Jharkhand State Mid day meal authority and also RTE Act , shared his experiences and thoughts.

That, my friends is a story of belief.

Katha Parab 2020, is no less than an Oscar to me! Thank you to all the people who made it possible.

Thank you my dear family and friends.

Happy Stories All!