The Village that banned Science — by Sangeeta Mulay
Publisher: Self Published
Price: Rs. 300 INR(Paperback), Rs. 49 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2Lo4lwr
The Government of India has forgotten to send a Science teacher to one isolated village in India. A village where strange customs and whacky practices are followed. The villagers are totally ignorant about Science. Prejudice and superstitions flourish. Until a Science teacher visits and creates an absolute ruckus in the village with his scientific ideas. The villagers are amazed, fascinated and a little scared of Science. One little girl falls totally in love with Science. Why then does the Sarpanch decide to ban Science from the village?’ The village that banned Science’ is a fictional book aimed at children aged 8+. Handling topics such as discrimination, superstition and prejudice, this book aims to encourage scientific thought..
My take on the book:
Rampur is a remote Indian village which never had access to Science. The Government forgot to send a science teacher ever and hence the Sarpanch and a holy Baba join hands to use the innocence and ignorance of the villagers for their own selfish needs. Jambhula a young girl from the village who lives with her parents, is ever so curious to find about the world around her. Along with her friend and partner-in-crime Damya, she tries to explore her village as much as possible with her limited knowledge. Enters the science teacher Mr. Harish who slowly educates the villagers, both kids and elders, about the basics of Science and ignites the passion in them to perform experiments and also sows the seeds of ability to question logically everything instead of accepting things by face value. But will this sudden change in perspective of the villagers go well with the Sarpanch and the holy Baba who are used to exploiting them? Will Jambhula and other kids be able to learn Science forms the rest of the story.
Though the story is about a fictional village, we can safely assume there are still a lot of such villages in this country without proper access to the knowledge from the outside world and where superstitions run wild among the villagers. The story narrated from the young girls perspective adds so much to the innocence, while questioning some deep rooted inequalities and superstitions in the society. The girl is funny, sarcastic, smart and bold all in equal measures, which makes her so endearing to the reader.
The book is equally enjoyable for kids and elders, but in my opinion a must read for young kids, for its interesting theme and the lovable kids’ characters. The narration is taut for the entire length of the story. Read this book/encourage kids you know to read it/or gift this book, because it is a wholesome package of good message along with entertainment.