Raman’s Tech Tale Series: Knowledge Stories for Children

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Raman’s Tech Tale Series

Knowledge Stories for Children Ten Tales


Preface Raman’s Tech Tale Series is an innovative storybook concept that aims to educate children in the high-tech area of information and communications technology (ICT) through interesting stories. Keeping in view today’s need to give technology orientation to children, a little technology element is introduced in the stories. The books will not only help children, but they will also make it simpler for parents and teachers to impart tech education to the young learners. These are normal stories originally written for children’s edutainment (education and entertainment). Without confusing the child, the technology element is kept in the background. The idea is to make the children curious to learn more about the tech aspects of life as they grow. Since the content mainly targets children in the age group of 6 – 12 years, the language used is quite simple to understand. Also, with a view to make the stories exciting, the environment in each story is presented through colourful illustrations. Each book in the series will also act as a catalyst to achieve the larger objective of ‘bridging the digital divide.’ As efforts are being made all over the world to take the technology benefits to the masses or the underprivileged sections of society, these books will empower people to take a step in that direction. The books will also supplement the conventional technology education in various schools. At present, the books are being published in the English language. However, depending on the demand, they will be translated in other languages also. A hallmark of the books in this series is that they can be adapted for stage shows by children, TV programmes for children, and short-format movies. The present book covers technology applications such as satellite communications, electronic mail, computer-based surveillance, video conferencing, computer simulation, digital walk-through, video-on-demand, Internet chat, robotics and e-learning. We hope that our pioneering attempt to produce this educative literature for children will be suitably encouraged by teachers as well as parents. And our books in this series will be introduced as an important knowledge resource for children. All books in the Raman’s Tech Tale Series will be equally useful for children in all parts of the world. ISBN (10-digit) 81-88551-07-4 ISBN (13-digit) 978-81-88551-07-1

Publisher July 2011

No part of this book should be copied, reproduced, translated or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any other form or by any means including electronic, mechanical, recording or photocopying – without the prior written permission of the publisher – Raman Media Network.


Raman’s Tech Tale Series

Knowledge Stories for Children Ten Tales

A collection of original, interesting tales that aim to foster technology awareness among children in an easy-to-understand way. Conceptualised and written by Rakesh Raman Price Rs. 150 (in India) US$ 5 (Overseas)

Published by Raman Media Network 463, DPS Apartments Plot No. 16, Sector – 4 Dwarka, Phase – I New Delhi – 110 075, India

www.ramanmedianetwork.com E-mail: rrthakur@hotmail.com

Designed and illustrated by: Prabha Singh Reprocessing by: Mohd. Shakeel Reprocessing: July 2011 Copyright © 2011 by Raman Media Network All rights reserved. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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Contents 1. The Flying Letter

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2. The Sick Queen

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3. Sitavan and the Hunters

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4. The King's Justice

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5. Fly in the Sky

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6. The Dream Town

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7. Fun in the Forest

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8. Chat with a Difference

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9. Ghost and the Pumpkins

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10. The Jungle Schools

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1. The Flying Letter

In a remote village, there lived a farmer named Bholu. His only son, Ramu, was among the few children in the village who had completed their schooling. Since there was no proper facility in the village for higher education, Bholu had no other option but to send Ramu to the city, which was hundreds of miles away. But Bholu was not quite eager for that because he had a lot of affection for his son. He never wanted Ramu to live away from him. Since Bholu was not able to decide, he wanted to take the help of his close friend Dinu, who was an intelligent man. “It’s very important that you send Ramu to the city for higher studies. Because after completing his studies he would be able to contribute a lot towards the development of our village,” Dinu suggested. Bholu agreed. “But I want to keep a regular interaction with my son when he would be away,” he said.

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“You can send him letters, and Ramu would reply,” said Dinu. “But the postal system in our village is very slow. It takes weeks for our letters to reach the city,” Bholu was worried. “You don’t have to depend on that old system. Now your letters can reach and come from the city within a few hours on the same day,” Dinu informed him. “Will the letter fly?” Bholu asked innocently. “Yes, you can say that. Actually, it’s an inexpensive satellite-based

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communication system. You have to just give your letter to the person who sits in that office. He will send your communication instantly,” Dinu tried to explain. Bholu could not understand the concept, but he was convinced and preferred to call it a ‘flying letter’ system. Thus, he sent Ramu to the city for his further studies. And kept a regular contact with him using the ‘flying letter’ service.  Technology: Satellite Communications – Artificial satellites are used to send and receive messages on different parts of our planet, Earth. This technology is particularly useful for communications in remote areas. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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2. The Sick Queen

Once upon a time, there was a king. He used to love his queen more than anything else in the world. It so happened that suddenly the queen fell sick. She started getting weaker by each passing day. The king consulted all his physicians to get the queen cured. But it became very difficult to get her disease diagnosed. There was a wise man in that kingdom. When he came to know about the queen’s ailment, he wanted to help. “I have heard that there is a highly qualified doctor, who lives in another kingdom that is thousands of miles away from here. I am sure he can give the right treatment to the queen,” the wise man told the king. “But the queen is so weak and sick that she cannot be taken that far for her treatment,” the king was worried.

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It was very difficult for that doctor also to ignore all his patients to come and see the queen. “There is a way out,” said the wise man after thinking for a while. “We will electronically send queen’s medical examination reports and disease symptoms to that doctor to have his views,” he said. The king agreed, as there was really a ray of hope. Without wasting any more time, all the medical details of the queen were sent to the doctor through electronic mail, which uses a computer and telephone lines for information exchange.

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The mail instantly reached the doctor, who was thousands of miles away. He studied the details carefully, and could easily diagnose the disease. He sent his prescription and analysis back to the king. With his treatment, the queen soon started recovering from her illness. The king was very happy. He thanked the wise man for his knowledge that could help to get the queen cured.  Technology: Electronic Mail (or E-mail) – It is the most popular and costeffective form of messaging technology on the Internet. You can send text, pictures, and even videos through e-mail.

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3. Sitavan and the Hunters

The Sitavan forest was known for its prosperity and progress. All the animals were living happily there. But suddenly it started facing the threat of some hunters, who would come in the forest and kill the innocent animals. All the animals were quite scared, and were not able to do their work properly. With this problem, they approached the lion king. “King, please save our lives,” they appealed. The lion king too was helpless. “It’s difficult for us to face the hunters as they are always armed with weapons,” the lion said.

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However, he called a meeting of the animals to discuss this problem. During the meeting, as usual the clever monkey gave a good suggestion. “Let’s fix a few cameras in all the directions outside the forest. As soon as the hunters enter, the cameras would send their images on the monitors fixed in our internal control room, and we would raise the alarm,” the monkey gave the solution. The lion as well as the other animals were satisfied. An outer boundary was fixed around the forest. It was called the ‘control line’. As suggested by the monkey, cameras were fixed very high on the trees to guard the ‘control line’. These cameras were able to quickly send pictures in the forest’s control room of all who would cross the ‘control line’ t o enter the

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forest. Since the animals on duty were regularly watching the monitors, they would send an alert to all animals by ringing loud bells. Thus, all the animals would go to their hidings. The hunters were not able to find any animal in the forest. Also, they could not see the hidden cameras. After waiting for hours and getting tired, they would go back to their homes. The fixed cameras would again inform about the hunters’ departure so that the animals could come out. Slowly, the hunters stopped coming to that forest. And the Technology: Computer-Based Surveillance – This technology is used to remotely observe sensitive areas using electronic equipment like computers and digital cameras. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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4. The King’s Justice

Raja Ram Mohan was a wise king. He was particularly known for his justice system. He used to hold open courts in his kingdom to himself solve the problems of the people, who were very happy with the king’s judgments. But there was a distinct problem. Many people had to come from remote places to appear in the king’s courts to present their cases. They had to travel for days to reach the courts. Some would even fall sick during their journeys and were not able to reach on time. They complained about this to the king. “King, please find a way out so that we could avoid our personal presence here to explain our grievances,” they said. “I am aware of the inconvenience caused to you. But it’s necessary that you yourself explain your cases to me. Only then I would be able to solve them,” the king replied.

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But he promised to think about their problem with a view to solve it. Even after many days, he was not able to find an alternative that could substitute people’s presence in his courts. Now technology was the only hope that he wanted to try. He called his science and technology minister and discussed the problem with him. “We can easily solve this problem by using the latest video conferencing facility,” the minister was quick to find the solution. “What’s that?” the king was surprised. “We can set up video conferencing kiosks in the remote areas. People could go to their nearest kiosk to use it. The other monitor will be in our courts through which you could interact live with these people - to see their

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pictures and also hear them,” the minister told the king. “This is a wonderful facility,” the king

exclaimed. Soon the video conferencing kiosks were established. People started using them. Now they were not required to travel for their cases. They were once again very happy with the king’s justice.  Technology: Video Conferencing – Using digital systems, you can hold conferences between different locations in such a way that you will feel sitting in the same room.

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5. Fly in the Sky

In a village, there was an educated young man, Deepu. He was living with his father, who was a poor farmer. Deepu used to help his father in the fields. But he would always stop his work and continuously look in the sky, when an aeroplane flew over his fields. “Deepu, this aeroplane passes almost daily over our heads. But why do you always stop working and keep looking towards it till it disappears?” his father asked. “I want to become a pilot and fly the aircraft like this,” Deepu replied. But this was not quite possible because his father was not able to afford his flight training in the city. Deepu had a wise friend, Bhima, who belonged to a very rich

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family and was living in the same village. Deepu discussed the matter with Bhima, and expressed his desire to become a pilot. He also told that his father does not have enough money to send him to the city for training. “Don’t worry. I will solve your problem,” Bhima assured Deepu. “No… I don’t want to borrow money from you,” Deepu said. “Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not giving you the money. But I have a good computer at my home. It has a flight simulator in it, which can teach you flying,” Bhima explained. “But how can I fly with this computer?” Deepu was curious to know.

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“You cannot fly with the computer. But the simulator will create an artificial environment, which will be like flying an actual aircraft,” Bhima told. Deepu was convinced and started using Bhima’s computer for training. Soon he got fully trained. After a few days, Deepu appeared for the pilot’s test in the city and was selected to become a pilot. He thanked Bhima for his advice.  Technology: Computer Simulation – You can create virtual environments using simulation techniques. Simulators are used when it is difficult to have real environments because of cost or other factors.

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6. The Dream Town

King Krishna Kumar was a kind man. He always wanted to provide the best possible facilities to his people in the kingdom. People were also very happy. Still, the king was always eager to improve the standard of living for the public by providing them a better infrastructure in terms of roads, electricity, communications, health centers, educational institutions, and so on. So first he decided to build a model town, which could be followed in the rest of his kingdom. Since he wanted to make a unique town, he called a meeting with his advisers. It was decided to assign the job to the most skillful architect to first make a model of that town for the king’s approval, before starting the actual construction. “But how do we find such an architect?” the advisers asked. “Let’s do it in the form of a contest by inviting architects from other kingdoms also. The one who would make the best model, would also be given a prize with his fee,” the king suggested. All of them agreed. And the contest w a s announced.

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Many architects participated and made good models of the dream town. But the king was not quite satisfied because he was not able to get the real experience of the town. There was only one architect left, who had not yet shown his model. After a few days, he came to the king. “Where is the model that you have made?” the king asked the young architect. “My model is in my computer,” the architect said while showing his small computer to the king. “How is that possible?” the king was surprised. “You have to use this computer to have a walk-through experience. With this, you can not only see the outer structure of the town, but can experience as if you are actually moving in the town,” the architect described. The king used his computer, and was thrilled to have a walk-through experience.

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“This is my dream town,” he said with joy. So the king gave a good reward to the innovative architect. And the construction work started for that town.  Technology: Digital Walk-Through – This technology is mainly used for building construction or urban planning to create computer-based digital models before actually starting the construction work.

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7. Fun in the Forest

There was a big forest. All the animals in it were very hardworking. To be more efficient in their daily work, they always wanted to relax during their free time. Television, or TV, was the main source of entertainment for them. After their work, they would always sit in front of their TV sets to view programs of their interest. Their kids also wanted to see good programs after their studies. However, almost all the animals were not satisfied with the TV programs, because they lacked entertainment. The TV station was managed by the elephant, Deen Dayal, who was also called DD, in short. All the animals decided to approach DD to get the quality of programs improved. “We want complete fun in the programs,” they said. “But we are giving you the best that we have,”

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DD replied. The animals were not convinced. “We want to see the programs of our choice,” they said. The deer wanted to see the latest movies. The fox was interested in family serials. While the monkey preferred good music, cat desired educative programs. Similarly, other animals had their choices. “It’s not possible to give programs of your individual choices,” DD said. The tall camel was also there. He was a tech-savvy animal. “I have a suggestion,” the camel said. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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All the animals looked towards him with hope. “DD can use video-on-demand technology in the TV station. With this, the animals would be able to see programs of their choice,” the camel suggested. All the animals agreed with the camel’s suggestion. DD also decided to use video-on-demand facility in the TV station. Now everything was running smoothly. All the animals in the forest started having full entertainment on their TV sets. So their Technology: Video-on-Demand – It allows consumers to demand and watch TV programs or other multimedia content of their choice on their TV sets or computers. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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8. Chat with a Difference

In a small town, there lived a boy named Ravi. He had just finished his schooling. As he was always eager to learn more, his desire was to make more and more friends in many other countries to know their cultures, interests and hobbies. Obviously, it was not quite possible for him to visit other countries for making friends. He thought about his curiosity many times, but was not able to find any solution. Finally, he decided to discuss it with his uncle, who was a businessman and had visited many countries. “How can I make friends in other countries, without even going there?” Ravi asked his uncle. “But you have many friends in our own town. Then why do you want to have friends abroad?” his uncle wanted to know.

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“I want to know more about those countries,” Ravi replied. His uncle was pleased to see Ravi’s curiosity. “Yes, it’s possible. Now you can use Internet to make friends in other parts of the world, and can also regularly chat with them online,” said his uncle. “But it will be very expensive. My father will not allow me for this,” Ravi said. “No, it is not very costly. Either you can use your own computer for online chat or you can go to an Internet shop for this,” his uncle explained. After a brief search, Ravi could find such an Internet shop near his house only. He started using the facility there, and found that it

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was very simple to operate the computer for making friends and having online chat with them. Soon he could make many friends in other countries. He started discussing different subjects with them. Ravi realized that using Internet for interactive chat was not only entertaining, but was informative also.  Technology: Internet Chat – This is among the cheapest forms of interactive communication between different people sitting away from each other. It can be used for text and video chat like phone is used for voice chat.

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9. Ghost and the Pumpkins

Far away on the foothills, there was a small village. It was surrounded by dense forests and big mountains, which were always covered with snow. Of late, people had started facing a ghost menace. A horrifying ghost had started daunting the villagers and their cattle. The poor sufferers believed that they even felt body blows from the ghost, who was invisible. As the complaints about the ghost were increasing, the village elders decided to hold a meeting with a view to solve the problem. Leelawati, an elderly woman, put across a remedy. “I have heard from my ancestors that such ghosts can be driven away by using some rare quality black pumpkins against them. If we hang one pumpkin on each of the four directions outside our village, the ghost would not dare to enter here,” she said. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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“But we have never seen such black pumpkins,” the villagers were surprised. “These pumpkins grow on very high mountains, which are in the north direction and may be miles away from our village,” Leelawati suggested. Though people were familiar with the routes, it was almost impossible to climb up these mountains because of the freezing weather and steep pathways. A few young men tried, but they had to come back empty-handed. All the people were worried. They had found the solution to keep the ghost away, but were not able to apply it. Leelawati’s nephew, Veeru, was an engineer, who had come to the village from city during those days. When he came to know about the problem, he offered to help. “How will you go up the mountains?” villagers were curious to know. “I will not go anywhere, but still you will get those pumpkins,” Veeru disclosed. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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The villagers raised their eyebrows. “Please don’t get surprised. I will send my friend, Snowman, to fetch the pumpkins,” he said. Snowman was, in fact, a robot - a machine programmed to act as a human being - that Veeru had created. He fed necessary instructions into his Snowman and sent him to bring those pumpkins. Villagers were stunned to find that after a few days, the Snowman had brought the black pumpkins for them. They greeted him as if he were a perfect human being. They hanged a pumpkin each in four directions outside the village. Now they were relieved that the ghost would never turn up.  Technology: Robotics – It is used to create mechanical and electronic equipment that works almost like human beings. Robots can be programmed to think, walk, dance, run and do other things.

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10. The Jungle Schools

There was a very big jungle. A large number of animals were living in it and most of them were uneducated. Their population was increasing at a rapid pace, because of which the progress in the jungle had almost stopped. The lion king, Singhraj, was really worried with the alarming increase in the number of animals. After discussing the population growth issue with his ministers, Singhraj concluded that the increase in population could be controlled, if more animals are educated. “How can we provide good education to our animals?” Singhraj asked his ministers. “It’s really difficult to open a large

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number of schools in a big jungle like ours. Also, we have only one good teacher - Mastu monkey,” they replied. It was not possible for Mastu to hold a class of all the animals together. And it was also not possible for Mastu to keep traveling in the large jungle to teach the animals at different places. “Since education is very important, we need to find a way out,” Singhraj suggested. Even after many days, no animal could give a workable solution. Then Singhraj decided to take the advice of Mastu. “This is indeed a serious problem, but can be solved,” Mastu was hopeful. “How?” asked Singhraj. “I will teach animals at a single place only. My lectures will be recorded on information storage disks, which will be distributed in different areas of our jungle. We can set up schools equipped

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with computers at these places. The lecture disks could be used on these computers. And animals would be able to attend the classes as per their convenience in different areas. So my physical presence will not be required in all such schools,” Mastu explained. Singhraj was very happy. Mastu’s suggestion was immediately implemented. Animals also showed their eagerness to learn with this innovative method. Soon education started spreading throughout the jungle. And that was a step forward to achieve progress...  Technology: E-learning – With the help of Internet and computers, e-learning eliminates the need of a teacher in a classroom. E-learning can help students even in remote areas get education in a cost-effective way. Raman’s Tech Tale Series

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RMN Books for Children

Raman Media Network, New Delhi, India www.ramanmedianetwork.com E-mail: rrthakur@hotmail.com


The Writer Rakesh Raman has conceptualised and written Raman’s Tech Tale Series – a collection of interesting technology-oriented stories. He has spent nearly 20 years in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry as a computer professional and senior technology journalist in India. He has extensive experience in print, online, and electronic media. In 1995, he was conferred the National-level award by the Haryana government for his contribution as a technology journalist. The award was presented to him at the Republic Day function. These days, he is specialising in New Media (including social media) communications and working as the Chief Dreamer of his company, Raman Media Network. You can contact him at his e-mail: rr_thakur@yahoo.com Media Reviews of Raman’s Tech Tale Series: “… Welcome to the world of cyber stories for kids from Raman’s Tech Tale Series. The stories take you back to the kiddie world of kings and queens and even animals but with a little twist. Whenever there is a problem, computer comes to aid, thus introducing curiosity in the child to understand a specific application of computers better…” THE ECONOMIC TIMES “Story book to bridge the digital divide… Titled Raman’s Tech Tale Series – Knowledge Stories for Children, the book targets children in the age group of six to 12 years. It will also supplement the conventional technology education in various schools…” THE DQ WEEK “Information about technology is embedded in original stories written for children’s edutainment (education and entertainment). To foster curiosity without confusion, such application areas as computer games, wireless Internet, video conferencing, database management, and the geographical positioning system are subtly discussed without complex jargon.” BOOKBIRD – A Journal of International Children’s Literature Price: Rs. 150 (in India); US$ 5 (Overseas) Raman Media Network

ISBN 978-81-88551-07-1