Science Communication


In a milieu where science magazines do not exist, none addressing children, it is remarkable that Thulir continues to be published without a break for 20 years. Currently, Thulir has a circulation of more than 12000, and is estimated to reach nearly 50,000 children on account of multiple readerships. Of these nearly 8,000 reach small villages, Most of the copies are sold by TNSF's activists (largely schoolteachers) at the beginning of the month. They go around at the beginning of the month, selling issues of Thulir, often to children who team up and split the cost. Currently, Thulir's annual subscription is Rs 75, and single copies are priced at Rs 7 for an issue.

To reach urban children, we started Jantar Mantar (JM), another magazine in English. It comes out as a bi-monthly, and is produced by a set of resource persons working in IIT and Institute of Mathematical Sciences. JM's circulation is about 1500 now, and most of it is through annual subscriptions (Rs. 90).

These magazines provide active contact for TNSF with children in the form of Thulir Illams (Science Clubs) and Jantar Mantar clubs, where children meet regularly, discuss articles which have appeared and try out suggested experiments and exercises. These are reported in the magazines, and the question & answer forum provides for clarification. By now, the annual Thulir Quiz and Jantar Mantar Quiz have become institutions, particularly in rural Tamil Nadu, with nearly 100 schools participating in every district. They are organized at district level, zonal level and culminating at state level.

Apart from these journals, there is also Vignyana Siragu, a monthly newsletter for TNSF members. Siragu is not sold but is intended as internal communication and discussion, and carries articles on issues of current interest to activists of TNSF (viz. Movement against nuclear weapons, terminator genes...).

TNSF also brings Arivu Thendral, a monthly broadsheet for women neo-literates esp. working with SHGs run by TNSF. The social issues dealt in the magazine are discussed in the SHG meetings. Recently Arivu Thendral's 100th issue was released.

Vizhuthu is a Quarterly magazine published by TNSF on behalf of Teacher's Network. The content of Vizhuthu ranges form Teacher's experiences to current developments in Education.