ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 44
Funday Times

‘Panchatantra’, a TV series for children sponsored by Bank of Ceylon

'Panchatantra' is a renowned Sanskrit book containing fascinating stories similar to Aesop's Fables. Every story in ‘Panchatantra’, is accompanied by a moral. Translated so far into over 80 languages, it is a collection of stories written to help royal princes learn all the aspects of ethical behaviour in an interesting and memorable manner. Almost every child in India are read stories from ‘Panchatantra; by parents or grandparents to drive home important moral points in an appealing manner.

Bank of Ceylon is bringing the wealth of wisdom contained in this fascinating book within easy reach of our children all over the country through a weekly TV series. Each 15-minute episode is a complete story from the ‘Panchatantra’, and uses a unique concept of animated muppets in real-life settings. The series will be telecast on ITN every Sunday from 3.45 to 4.00 p.m., starting from April 1, 2007. The first episode will provide an overview of the series and show how an animated muppet show is done. Each episode will be repeated the following Friday from 5.05 to 5.20 p.m.

"We decided to produce this TV series in order to teach children all over Sri Lanka high ethical and moral values in an interesting and memorable manner," explained Udayasri Kariyawasam, Chairman, Bank of Ceylon.

"Children are the future leaders of our nation. This TV series will interest not only the children but also their parents and teachers, who have a great responsibility to teach children proper values and behaviour in a memorable and sustaining manner," said B. A. C. Fernando, the new General Manager, Bank of Ceylon, at the media launch of the ‘Panchatantra’ TV series.

The background story of ‘Panchatantra’ is as follows:

Long ago in the kingdom of Mahilaropya, there lived a king who was ruling in a just manner. He had three sons, who were not very intelligent. The king was worried about the heir to the throne, as he knew that his sons were incapable of governing well. He was desperate to find a good teacher for his sons who would teach them the scriptures and make them knowledgeable in a short time. His ministers suggested a skilled pundit, Vishnu Sharman. He was old, and the king was worried as to how he could teach his sons, since it was said that even an intelligent student takes more than twelve years to grasp all the elements in the scriptures.

Vishnu Sharman convinced the king that he would teach the princes about kingly conduct through a series of stories in a short time, which would be more effective than the scriptures. Thus, Vishnu Sharman compiled the collection of stories known as ‘Panchatantra’ in five volumes, meant to serve as the guide for the princes to learn about the proper conduct for a king.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.