The debate about the ethics of reality shows for kids and their ban is a never ending one. The children with a talent other than those of music and dance are completely neglected. Be it solving a puzzle, writing a heart wrenching story or drawing the most beautiful picture, none of these are seen on equal footing with dance and music due to the entertainment factor offered through music and dance reality shows for kids on a medium like television. The TV has served as a medium for making a quick buck, and parents' getting lured towards this are making their kids suffer.
“My two year old daughter used to be good at solving puzzles and know the names of continents. There are media for talking about music and dance. There is no platform for things like drawing, painting, puzzles etc. Everything that is there is at the school level nothing at the national level. That’s when we realized there is a gap here that we can fill,” says Deepak, Founder, Crafted Kids
Started 4 months ago, Deepak pulled together a team of part time members (with other full time jobs at the moment) to start Crafted Kids, a platform for children of all age groups to showcase their talents at a national level. Individual competitions will be hosted by Crafted Kids where parents will be required to upload two sample works of the child. The platform will then open it for rating by other users and their staff will also grade it and then the finalists will be shortlisted. The finalists will then be called to a live event platform to make sure that their work is authentic. For essay writing, judges may call and talk to participants on the phone. In the finale, individuals will have to come to the live event to get tested on their skills. As a clear differentiation from the other television shows, the students are not required to travel to places for the first or second rounds clearly to minimize the stress in the kid’s life.
The first competition has already been launched "For Cute and Smart Kids". It targets kids of 0-13 years of age and has cash prizes more than Rs.1 lakh. The idea was not to focus on a specific skill for the first event so that the audience participation is high. There will be multiple rounds and the kids will get to showcase anything they want – talent or just their cuteness.
Sponsorship model will be adopted in sometime with focus on securing big sponsorship and partnerships. Apart from that Crafted Kids is also speaking to event management companies who speak to speak to school, principals and students to put up the posters of their events. Interestingly, this startup isn’t looking for money as such instead they are looking for mentorship, brands they can work with, marketing help etc.
Since the cost of logistics could be a challenge if the events are taken to each city in the country, internet has been chosen as the medium to avoid this cost. Though the reach may be initially low due to the focus on internet, Team Crafted Kids believes that this will sort itself out eventually.
Nevertheless there is the challenge of competing with pure entertainment shows like Dance India Dance that provide a platform for kids to dance on television, a medium with much wider reach. Unfortunately, every talent cannot be turned into an entertainment show like dance. Yet being able to solve a puzzle or write an essay is an equally important ability or skill in a child that needs to be recognized and appreciated. “If someone has won it in Indian Idol then people identify it. We need a strong brand here. That is the challenge,” explains Deepak.
Crafted Kids may not be able to compete with shows like Dance India Dance or Indian Idol for it provides a platform for kids to showcase all their talents for their focus is to nurture talent and not entertainment people.
Want to nurture your kids' creative abilities? Try Crafted Kids!