Book: Philosophy for Children
Author - Sundar Sarukkai
Illustration - Priya Kuriyan
Price - ₹175 Pages - 72
Published - 2021

Do we think while seeing, reading, and writing? Are our children engaged in many given activities that they do not have the leisure to think on their own? Writing a book for children is a very difficult task for even a seasoned author. It becomes even tougher when that book is on philosophy.

Philosophy for children is a beautifully crafted small 72-page book written by Sundar Sarukkai. He is currently a Professor of Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He is the founding director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy & Humanities, at Manipal University, from 2010-2015. Additionally, Dr Sarukkai is the founder of the Barefoot Philosophers initiative (https://www.barefootphilosophers.com).

This amazing book is divided into eight chapters. Those are seeing, thinking, reading, writing, mathematics, art, being good, and learning. Each chapter is prepared with children aged around 10 in mind. For example, “The funny thing about seeing is that we can also see when our eyes are closed! Try this exercise. Close your eyes. Do you see any shades of colour? When we dream, we do see many things. We can see people, we hear them talking. But when we are dreaming our eyes are closed.”

Each chapter provides us with different perspectives on the human senses. Let me quote another example from the chapter thinking. “Ask yourself these questions: Do you think differently in your Hindi class and your English class? Is that thinking different from what you think when you are learning science and mathematics?”. In this way, Sarukkai walks us through various situations and encourages children to ask questions. It is not often that one comes across classrooms that are question-friendly. “Pindrop silence” is considered the benchmark of a good classroom.

Priya Kuriyan has done exceptional work by adding a large number of colourful illustrations all throughout this book. These pictures play a vital role in making this book extremely children friendly. Priya is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been awarded the prestigious Big Little Book Award for her contribution to the field of children’s literature.

The valiant effort of Sarukkai and Priya would have gone in vain but for Ektara’s production. Ektara is a group working in Bhopal towards enriching the child’s world. It is virtually impossible to make this striking book available for ₹175. If you love children and who does not? You cannot think of a better gift than ‘Philosophy for Children.

Auswaf Ahsan

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Kanpur (UP), Dec 3: A 17-year-old vegetable vendor lost his leg after being run over by a train while he was collecting his belongings allegedly thrown on a track by police personnel during an anti-encroachment drive here.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vijay Dhull told PTI that Head Constable Rakesh Kumar has been placed under suspension.

Police initiated an inquiry after several purported videos surfaced online showing the boy lying on the tracks asking for help as policemen and people try to rescue him, a senior official said.

"Prima facie, it appears Kumar showed negligent behaviour," Dhull said, adding that Assistant Commissioner of Police (Kalyanpur) Vikas Pandey has been asked to conduct the inquiry and submit a report at the earliest.

Police personnel had thrown a container of the victim, identified as Arsalan alias Irfan of Rawatpur area, and when he had gone on the railway track to pick it up, he was run over by a train on Friday, Dhull said.

Arsalan lost his right leg and suffered serious injuries to his left leg. He was taken to the Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital from where he was shifted to the SGPGIMS where a surgery was performed on Saturday, he said.

Dhull confirmed that several purported videos of the incident have gone viral and police are trying to obtain the mobile clips and pictures. These will help police to establish the sequence of events, he said.

Interacting with reporters, a local, who identified himself as Mohammad Shanu, claimed that the victim lost his leg after being hit by a train when he was collecting his weighing scale thrown on the tracks by police during an anti-encroachment drive.

The victim's father Saleem, an auto-rickshaw driver, told media persons that his son's leg were severed on the spot.