Kapila Nagpal, Founder, M K Foundation is a storyteller, Certified Happiness Coach and an Educator. She conducts workshops for teachers, parents, students as well as entrepreneurs by using stories and various activities. Born and brought up in New Delhi, Kapila took up her first job in Hindustan Times after completing her MBA from Delhi University.
She worked for over a period of six years and then shifted to Bhubaneswar after her marriage. Her husband Tusshar Hans is into the medicine and vaccines distribution business and also owns a jewellery store named Nimantran Jewellers. He has been the biggest support although her journey. As she had a flair for training and mentoring since the beginning, she started her career in Bhubaneswar by joining a preplacement training institute and trained around 8000 aspiring engineers in a span of 10 years.
She is also empanelled as a regional trainer in a leading business networking group where she conducts sessions for entrepreneurs from various sectors.
She began her career as a storyteller when her own kids were born, and it was like ‘led into storytelling by fate’. Kapila has performed at various national and international forums and also participated in various Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Jharkhand based literary festivals. She also took a couple of sessions in Singapore and Dubai-based schools.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
You have worked extensively with students of almost all age groups. How does storytelling help?
I believe that imagination is the key to success. Talk about any scientist or creative ad agency or explorer, they all had a mindset to imagine more. I use storytelling as a tool to develop the language skills of the students. It helps them to learn in a practical way. Storytelling is not confined up to students, I also use it for teachers, parents as well as entrepreneurs. Stories are used to define selling techniques and at some places it is also used for healing. Stories offer everyone a chance to enjoy language and discover new worlds, new words and new things about themselves.
Tell us about your future plans.
I intend to take up various national and international projects where I will be guiding students, parents and the business community about how stories can leave a huge impact on their target audience. I would also love to do something for specially-abled children. I had done that earlier also and found really good changes in them. So, I feel that there is a lot of scope for these children and would help them to build on their confidence level and abilities.
Please tell us about M K Foundation. What is the purpose of your organization?
M K Foundation is a brainchild of my husband and mother-in-law. After my father-in-law’s demise Tusshar (husband) wanted to do some philanthropic work by setting up a foundation in his father’s name. So, we named it Mahindra Kumar (M K) Foundation. The letter U is used two times deliberately in the word Foundation. I am planning to take up various projects based on education for underprivileged students. With a firm belief that language skills are something that I can do on my own, I have started teaching students who can’t afford to pay.
How can one become a good storyteller?
The only way to be a storyteller is to keep telling stories. It is something that comes from your heart. You have to use various techniques to bring a story to life. There is no fixed method to it. If you are telling adults or in corporate world, then your style will be different in comparison to how you tell the students. I also train people for storytelling. They can learn about various methods of storytelling and also to re-create stories and structure them as per your audience. Apart from that, they can learn about various voice modulation techniques. It helps to bring the stories alive. Storytelling also helps students to enjoy and be aware of intonation and tone of voice, natural sounding expressions and phrases as well as interaction between native speakers.
Why is it important for parents to read aloud to their kids?
Read aloud is a scientifically proven concept where it says that if you read to your child twenty minutes a day on a regular basis then it can bring a lot of changes in the overall personality of your kid. Read at least one page to your child. It develops their creativity, vocabulary, grammar and other language skills. If parents act as role models to their children as readers, then they will also do the same. Keep books around you. Let them read and see the books around them. Reading broadens the horizon of children. As a parent, you will also have a great bonding with your kids.
Tell us about various types of stories.
You can go for folk tales and fairy tales, fable and picture stories, audiobooks, the fantasy world, comic books, historical books, action, adventure, literature fiction, mystery, detective, biography and many more types of storybooks are there. Every book gives its own learning. Children get a chance to explore more knowledge and create a great level of understanding. Stories make the education process more interesting and also develop listening skills.
How do you enhance language skills of your students?
Stories create magic. It creates a world of emotions and new ideas. Students listen to the sounds and can connect to them which helps them to learn basic letters of English. Similarly, I teach them various parts of speech in grammar through stories. I also train them in creative writing and help students to be more expressive. Storytelling brings language learning alive and creates a participatory and immersive experience that allows Young Learners to enjoy hearing the language in a dynamic, sometimes stylistic and entertaining way.
- Reveal various differences and commonalities of cultures across the world.
- Enables us to offer insights into different traditions and values.
- Gives great insights into universal life experiences.
- Helps children consider new ideas.
- Enable children to empathise with unfamiliar people/places/situations.
- Gives a feeling of well-being, fun and relaxation.
- Encourage cooperation between students.
- It increases children’s ability to communicate thoughts and feelings.
- Encourages excellent participation from children.
- Increases verbal proficiency in terms of their vocabulary and language skills.
- It enhances imagination and creativity amongst the listeners.
- Enhances listening skills of the target audience.