Union Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched a novel comic book titled “Let’s Move Forward.” The launch event was held on August 29, 2023, at Kaushal Bhawan, New Delhi. Secretary, School Education Education and Literacy, Shri Sanjay Kumar; Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari; Director, NCERT, Dr Dinesh Prasad Saklani; officials of the Ministry of Education and UNESCO and students were also present at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan highlighted that this book will motivate students to prioritize holistic well-being while entertaining them through storytelling, with a key focus on good health and wellness. He also stressed the importance of stories in conveying important messages such as mental health and hoped that more such comic books would be developed in the future. Good stories are extremely important for developing societal harmony and well-being, he stated.
He also mentioned the importance of the partnership with UNESCO at the time of India’s G20 Presidency and the subject of FLN which can be spread with the help of comic books. He urged UNESCO to spread Indian stories so that they benefit not only the youth of India but that of the entire world. ‘Explore’, Experiment’ and ‘Experience’ are going to be of great significance, he mentioned. With the Amrit Kaal, a wave has to be created to spread the Indian knowledge in the entire world as a guiding light, he said.
This comic book is a collaborative effort between the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and UNESCO New Delhi. It signifies a significant stride towards augmenting the goals of the School Health and Wellness Programme (SHWP). The SHWP, initiated under the Ayushman Bharat campaign in April 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is an initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Its primary objective is to impart health education, prevent diseases, and enhance access to health services through wellness centres within educational institutions.
The “Let’s Move Forward” comic book is designed to cater to the diverse requirements of adolescents and encapsulates crucial information pertaining to the 11 thematic components of the School Health and Wellness Programme. These encompass a comprehensive range of subjects, including emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, gender equality, nutrition and health, substance abuse prevention, healthy lifestyles, reproductive health, internet safety, and more.
The comic book imparts life skills essential for fostering responsible and health-conscious behaviour among adolescents. This innovative approach serves to not only disseminate health-related knowledge but also facilitate the acquisition of life skills necessary for comprehensive personal development. It is accessible in multiple languages, including Hindi, English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odiya, Tamil, and Telugu, to ensure inclusivity across linguistic diversity.
The “Let’s Move Forward” comic book will be distributed nationwide across educational and health institutions. Its distribution will encompass State School Education Departments, SCERTs, Colleges of Teacher Education (CTEs), Institutes of Advanced Study in Education (IASEs), District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), Block Institutes of Teacher Education (BITEs), and state health departments. Additionally, the comic books will be disseminated to the 29,000 schools affiliated with the CBSE, thereby expanding its outreach. An electronic version of the comic book will also be accessible on the Ministry of Education (MoE), NCERT, UNESCO, and DIKSHA websites.