The writers are Krishna Raj Sarbahari, Shanti Chaudhary and Chhabilal Kopila while the illustrators are Bandana Tulachan, Mitthu Tharu, Shraddha Shrestha, Suman Maharjan, Ubahang Nembang and Umesh Chaudhary. The books are available to read for free online via Let’s Read’s platform.
“The residency in Dang was an opportunity for the illustrators to use their difference senses and collect references to create visual stories that weave together with the words,” explains Sharareh Bajracharya, chairperson of Srijanalaya.
While Dr Krishna Raj Sarbahari and Chhabilal Kopila are from Dang and writers in Dangaura Tharu, Shanti Chaudhary is from Bara and writes in Bara Jilla Tharu; all writers wrote in their native language and in Nepali. The six Tharu books are titled Gidrak Bhoj, Bhukali, Khuttrukya, Ladeha aur Bachhiya, Kailari and Hamar Dudhu, and they have been translated into Nepali and English by Gurung and Niranjan Kunwar.
Dr Krishna Raj Sarbahari, who is already a well-known writer and journalist, is also a well-known children’s book author and says that the six new books are a literary milestone for Tharu literature, not just for children but for adults as well, and not just for Tharus but for Nepal, too.
“Poems written in Tharu languages are relatively popular, but I believe these children’s books will contribute immensely to conserve our language and culture, and catch Tharu children young to be proud of their language,” says Sarbahari.