In this fast paced world, where the race against time is everyone’s natural priority, it takes a lot of gumption to take a step back and introduce a new concept. One that educates young minds, and keeps them immersed in thrill of books, activity, theatre and play outside of schools. Children need to explore their inner enthusiasm and their imagination, to run wild every once in a while, and not let the dos and don’ts of life interfere.
When Vaishali Basu, a Bangalore-based ex-school teacher put her mind to this, she wanted to do something about it. After being a mom, she wanted to create a space where her child and others like him can have fun while learning, a space where books and their untold stories can come alive, and take various forms in plays, theatre or simply a walk through the woods. The Pow Wow Club, a story telling outfit for children aged two to eight years, was born when Vaishali, a well travelled mother of one, and her friend, Anchal Manglik, decided to create stories and weave magic for little ones.
Read on, to know more about this venture from Vaishali, in conversation with Paroma Sen.
What inspired you to start a story telling / activity centre for children?
I was always into speech and drama and elocution. In fact, I used to work as a full time teacher in Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai. When I shifted to Bangalore with my husband, my son was young and I couldn’t work full time. I frequently socialised with young mothers and met a few people who were interested in doing something useful for children, something that allowed them to use their imagination outside of school. That’s when Anchal and I came up with this idea of a story telling outfit. I conceptualised the entire theme, scheme and idea, and she came up with the name, The Pow Wow Club
How did you set up The Pow Wow Club? Is it a registered company?
Well, no. We are a home based unit that partners with libraries, book stores, activity centres, restaurants, art galleries, pre-schools etc. We prefer to consider ourselves a mobile unit, which runs activities inspired by stories across the city.