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Kerala engineer brings back comic books to make children read

Comic books by Malay Publications are making children go back to reading

The idea of connecting children with books struck Thomas Mathew during the lockdown when kids were the ones worst affected sitting at home. He also found them getting addicted to the digital world instead of spending time reading.

Along with his Stephy, Thomas started a Back to Reading programme in which he reintroduced the popular comics of yesteryears, Amar Chitra Katha series in Malayalam.

Talking to the media, Thomas said these republished books helped children to take up reading again and also triggered nostalgic memories of their parents.

It was during the Covid-19 pandemic that Thomas, who is an engineer, and belongs to Kattachira in Kottayam district started republishing these works. A big fan of these comics, he said that he wanted the kids to enjoy what he and his generation did, by reading these comics.

Initially the publishers of Amar Chitra Katha were reluctant but later they agreed to support him. Within less than a year, Thomas’ Malay Publications released 18 Malayalam comics, including ones on Jesus Christ, Bali and Garuda among others and two volumes of the Mahabharata. It gave Thomas immense satisfaction when he found children happy by reading these books and distracting them away from videos and games.

The Malayalam editions are being ordered in large numbers by overseas families from Kerala as they are keen that their children connect with their mother tongue and know about India and its culture and heritage.

Stephy plays a vital role in helping Thomas by editing the books and arranging for their delivery by courier.