The tenth edition of ‘100 Thousand Poets for Change’ Mumbai, (September 24 – 26, 2021), hosted by Kitab Khana and curated by Menka Shivdasani, featured the popular children’s programme coordinated by Rati Dady Wadia, former Principal, Queen Mary School, and children’s author Katie Bagli, alongside readings by global organisers.
The children’s programme began with a video highlighting ten years of the festival, featured students of Cathedral and John Connon School, J.B. Petit High School for Girls, The Somaiya School and Fun Ki Pathshaala (FKP). Explaining the theme, ‘Happiness – A State of Mind’, Wadia said, “Our Zarthosti Avestan expression, ‘Ushta Te’, means ‘Happiness unto You’ – one of the precepts of our religion. Be happy and give happiness to others.”
Katie Bagli remarked, “It was heart-warming to see how the children came up with their own versions of being happy through their poems; For one child it was going on a vacation and befriending a dolphin; to another – being gifted a puppy dog changed his grumpy nature to a cheery one. A seven-year-old had a happy dream of being the first child to climb Mount Everest!”
The programme also featured a play by Katie Bagli, with music, dance and poetry presentations. Wadia also read a poem by Diyansh Atman, from a biography titled, ‘Blaze: A Son’s Trial By Fire’, by his parents, Nidhi and Sushil Poddar.
Chief Guest Pratima Shrivastav, an author and founder of ‘HalloHappiness’, said, “Even if a small number of children think the way it sounded last night, we have hope for the youth. Some poems were the outcome of a very deep thought process.”
100 Thousand Poets for Change was founded in the United States in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, to highlight issues related to peace and sustainability.