Never letting the child in you to grow up.

When was the last time you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? We often forget to take time out of our busy schedule and spend some “Me Time” where we reflect on ourselves as an individual. It is rightly said that in order to take good care of ourselves we must go back and take care of the wounded child inside of us. In midst of all the chaos of this world somewhere, willingly or unwillingly we grew up. And in this process, most of us have tended to overlook the part where we need to keep our inner child alive as we evolve.

But it isn’t the case with Aparna. Aparna Athreya is an accomplished psychologist, a techie, an experienced storyteller and a story writer. Her passion for storytelling has helped her bring the magic of stories to life. Being a hardcore techie she served for big corporate companies such as Infosys and IBM, she witnessed the challenges and successes of the corporate world with the prevailing glass ceiling. She has faced instances where discrimination was present in a subtle manner as if it were to be an ongoing struggle. She conquered it all as confidence was something that was instilled in her as a child even though she was put in a scenario where there was gender diversity.

Apart from serving the corporate world, she always had a liking for serving the underprivileged. She got opportunities for volunteering for CSR purposes such as educational projects for the migrant community, underprivileged homes and urban slums. She also found an underlying sense of being a storyteller and that is how her journey as a storyteller began.

Being trained in early child development, she is the founder and CEO of Kid and Parent Foundation. It is an organization that focuses on working with teachers as they believe teachers are the guiding force in a child’s life. They work with all kinds of gaps, be it in an international or a government school as their main aim is to transform the lives of the children, irrespective of their background. It is an organization that runs developmental programs for children, parents and educators. It comprises a team of professionals from the field of human development coupled with creative professionals to design unique and unconventional developmental programs using storytelling, music, theatre and activity-based learning. Her idea behind such an organization is her belief in stories as she feels stories are powerful and are not limited to anything as they are meant to be heard. It is a tool to heal one another, a tool to bring communities together.

When asked about her inspiration, she recalls the time when her grandmother played a vital role in her life as she has always been her biggest inspiration. Being a learned scholar of her time and the headmistress of her school, Aparna’s grandmother was a protagonist of her family. Being a lady and a powerful figure in her family always helped Aparna break the stereotypes since childhood.

She also feels strongly for the young girls who continue to fight the stigma and break the stereotypes as she feels one must RISE AND SHINE by taking charge and ownership of oneself as anything is possible if you believe and have faith in yourself.Her never-ending list of achievements due to her divergent thinking has also given her the chance to be a TEDx speaker where she spoke on storytelling and Multiple Intelligence. She has been featured in YourStory as a leading entrepreneur and Super Woman in Radio One. Her organization has been covered in the newspaper like Times of India, Deccan Herald and Bangalore Mirror.

Working with children over the years has impacted her life in various ways as every day she gets to learn from the children. A learning experience which goes both the ways, children play a very imperative role in her life. It is because of them she tries to learn and try new things every day as she carries a sense of wonder to be childlike. Their response and innocence have always been the biggest motivating factor as they helped her to continue her journey of storytelling. This has helped her get a motto of ‘Never letting the child in you to grow up.’

It is indeed true that they say, the creative adult is the child who survived and examples such as Aparna Athreya continue to be quintessential to such beliefs.