On the 22nd of September 2015 storyteller Devendra Mewari visited Premdhan Orphanage at Najafgarh. A group of about 65 children in the age group of 9-12 years had gathered at the school hall. Devendra Mewari had two wonderful tales to share with them. He began the session with a story about a Goat couple who ran away from the village to the jungle to escape death at the hands of human beings who wanted to sacrifice them for their religious festivals.  In the jungle, the goats had to convince their fellow four legged friends that they all belonged together. The story ended with how the couple survived the sly fox’s attempt to overpower the goats.

The second story was about four friends who met a professor with a time machine during their visit to the zoo. He transported them to the past in the time machine during Muhammed Bin Tughlaq’s era followed by Akbar’s era where they all saw the fate of the animals due to the rulers’ favourite sport – hunting.  Animals were killed just for the joy of hunting. Then they went 50 years in the future with the help of the time machine to a zoo where Chimpanzees were selling tickets. Inside the zoo, the animals had measured movements and expressions. It was all too bizarre. In a small room there was a room full of animals and a register. Apparently, this was a library of pets where instead of books people could borrow pets for few days or weeks and return them after they felt happy.

Voice of nature

Voice of nature

Back in the real world, these four friends were indeed worried about the future of their environment and particularly animals.  Before revealing the end of the story, the author asked the kids, what they thought they would find inside the zoo in future if Chimpanzees were selling tickets.  The children came up with various conclusions. Some said they would find human beings inside the zoo, others said that the Cheetahs would be back. Animals had revenge planned out for humans according to others. But Mewari had a different conclusion. He had imagined technology to rule the future and thus robot animals would be seen at the zoo not only to entertain the human beings but also to give them company due to lack of pets. Through the story, Mewari had given a message to the children about the importance of nature and its inhabitants.

The session concluded with Mewari singing a song about the nature and the children sang along with him.

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