Swati Sarawagi, a resident of Vizag, has launched her first book, ‘Shivi Visits’, an innovative travel guide for young children. In this book, she covers some important tourist attractions, with some life lessons for the kids.
Yo! Vizag had a chat with this talented writer and got to know the journey that brought her to writing ‘Shivi Visits’.
Originally from Kolkata, Mrs. Sarawagi’s connection with Vizag began in 1997 when she got married and moved here. Her after-school activities centre for children, Fun Factory, put up many programmes for, by and with the children. After completing her Master of Arts in Psychology and Bachelors of Education at Andhra University, and then Masters in Education from Singapore, she then went on to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently, she runs Swarnim International School in Kolkata, a K-12 school with CBSE curriculum catering to 2500 students.
She reveals that ‘Shivi Visits’ is about a child’s experience of travelling to different cities of the country. In the first trench, he visits Vizag, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Jaipur. What separates this book from other travel guides is that the young readers get to learn some valuable lessons about life as well. “As a Teacher, School Head and the Territory Head of the Early Childhood Association, I got an in-depth knowledge of child psychology and realised that instead of scolding children, we need to make them understand why one thing is right and another is wrong. My journey has helped me to understand how a child’s mind works…wait !! – no one can ever tell how a child’s mind works.”
Talking about what got her to write ‘Shivi Visits’, Mrs. Sarawagi shares, “I was inspired to write this book by my experience with my nephew Shivi. This 7 year old is very intelligent and curious about visiting new places. This book is designed to start conversations and raise awareness. Small elements of everyday life have been woven into the illustrations to make it real and relatable for every child. I can imagine mothers reading this aloud as they travel through a city; or at night tucked into bed after a day’s experiences. Sharing and comparing Shivi’s day with their child’s.
Each book contains a simple life lesson – something that will help young parents teach their children life skills like appreciating the gift of vision, the blessing of food daily on our tables, the acceptance and normalisation of differently abled, responsibility etc.”
To end with, she explores the tourism potential of Vizag. “I see a lot of scope for tourism in Vizag. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The city is also very culturally diverse, with people from all kinds of backgrounds living harmoniously here. But they can surely add more activities that will draw more crowds to this beautiful place. On a typical weekend, you always find young kids on the Beach Road with their families.”
You can order Shivi Visits here.