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Science Communication Through Cultural Events !

The biggest challenge in public understanding of science programmes in India is how to inculcate interest in science amongst Indian common masses who are mostly villagers.Still not very familiar with modern means of communication they are not able to grasp often the higher modes of science communication.A breakthrough in this regard is achieved with the efforts of National Council of Science and Technology Communication[NCSTC] ,Department of Science and Technology [DST] ,Government of India[GIO] .
NCSTC has developed an innovative module of science communication by a rational mixing of familiar cultural symbols,ethos ,popular legends and even myths with matching scientific concepts.The idea seems to have clicked as commoner people are getting increasingly attracted towards tableaux involving ingenious 'mix' of popular stories and scientific ideas.A very attractive tableaux for example has a perfect blending of a famous mythological story of projections of universe vis a vis our modern science's stand in its depiction .A big blow up shows a baby Lord Rama engulfing a crow which after entering in his belly behold an universe hitherto unknown to him.When spectators come to see this familiar depiction they see one more parallel and simultaneous display of the model of universe,especially our solar system.And the science communicator in charge of the tableaux then snatches the opportunity of educating the common man -the spectator about the science of universe.Such tableaux are being arranged and displayed during cultural events like Puja Pandals ,Diwali Mandaps etc which are the traditional cultural festivities attracting huge common public.
Dr.Manoj Patairiya,Director NCSTC deserves all kudos for initiating such an innovative device for communicating S&T among the common masses of India.Similar models could also be adopted in those countries where common masses are still averse to 'high profile' ways of s&t communication.

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Comment by Rina Mukherji on June 20, 2008 at 18:51
No problem, Arvind.
Comment by Dr.Arvind Mishra on June 20, 2008 at 18:30
Thanks for sharing this invaluable info Rina,
Comment by Rina Mukherji on June 15, 2008 at 13:17
I don't think this is the first time this is being done, Arvind. Health issues have been communicated through rod puppets at the Sagar Mela by the VHAI. The Press and Publcity Division has been using baul gaans to convey the problems of AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and alcoholism among the labour class. Chhau has been used extensively to convey the message of hygiene and pre-natal/post natal care in the backward areas of West Bengal. In fact, I have written extensively on this.

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