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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eight Kids at AIKYA listened to King Cobra Story

Eight kids at AIKYA were eager to listen to the adventures of Kaala, the King Cobra. Storyteller Anitha told the story. As the kids were very young, a recollection of facts was helpful.

So, the kids repeated after the storyteller:
  • The King Cobra is 15 feet long
  • King Cobra does not have ears and eyelids.
  • King Cobra uses smell and its tongue to catch food.
  • The King Cobra does not eat food daily.
  • The King Cobra hatches from eggs.
And so on.... The kids had a look at the colorful picture book. They also created a forest  using crayons and sketch pens. The kids drew a tree, river, a King Cobra, and birds. Finally, they mimicked a snake dance pose. It would have been nice to have a real snake charmer around. Alas, you don't find one in streets these days.

Kids drawing a forest with King Cobra

Having a look at the picture book

Trying a King Cobra pose

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Storytelling at AIKYA on 17th Dec - A King Cobra's Summer

As the International Year of the Forest draws to a close, Pratham Books has launched the “Awareness Today for a Greener Tomorrow" campaign. As part of the campaign Pratham Books has organised an exciting relay of events throughout December to spread awareness for a greener world. One of the events is the launch of our book “A King Cobra's Summer' on 17th December. 

Are you ready to listen to the adventures of Kaala the King Cobra. It is not just a story. You will learn and know all about a cobra as the story unfolds....

Are you excited? Then be there at AIKYA Centre, 2/9 Karpagambal Nagar Main Road, Luz, Mylapore Chennai-4 on 17th December from 10 am to 12 noon. Bring along your friends and have fun. Come on, let's hissss........

Now for a few snapshots of A King Cobra's Summer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PICA - Eating disorder

Pica is a pattern of eating non-food materials (such as dirt or paper).


Pica is seen more in young children than adults. Between 10 and 32% of children ages 1 - 6 have these behaviors. Pica can occur  due to a lack of certain nutrients, such as iron deficiency anemia and zinc deficiency, may trigger the unusual cravings. Pica may also occur in adults who crave a certain texture in their mouth.

Symptoms   :  Children and adults with pica may eat:







This pattern of eating should last at least 1 month to fit the diagnosis of pica.


There is no single test that confirms pica. However, because pica can occur in people who have lower than normal nutrient levels and poor nutrition (malnutrition), the health care provider should test blood levels of iron and zinc.

Blood tests can also be done to test for anemia. Lead levels should always be checked in children who may have eaten paint or objects covered in lead-paint dust to screen for lead poisoning.
The health care provider should test for infection if the person has been eating contaminated soil or animal waste.


Treatment should first address any missing nutrients or other medical problems, such as lead exposure.

Treatment involves behavioral, environmental, and family educational approaches. Other successful treatments include associating the pica behavior with bad consequences or punishment (mild aversion therapy) followed by positive reinforcement for eating the right foods.

Medications may help reduce the abnormal eating behavior, if pica occurs as part of a developmental disorder such as mental retardation.


Treatment success varies. In many cases, the disorder lasts several months, then disappears on its own. In some cases, it may continue into the teen years or adulthood, especially when it occurs with developmental disorders.

Possible Complications

•Bezoar (a mass of undigestible material trapped inside the body, usually in the stomach)


•Intestinal obstruction

•Lead poisoning


When to Contact a Medical Professional

If you notice that a child (or adult) often eats non-food materials.


There is no specific prevention. Getting enough nutrition may help.