Learning to be Free

Shaju Philip of Indian Express writes about 13 year old Minon who won the National Award for the best child actor this year for the Malayalam film 101 Chodyangal (101 Questions).

Minon for India Express by Nirmal Harindran
Minon for India Express by Nirmal Harindran

Minon’s father is sculptor-craftsman John Baby and mother Mini John is a painter. They wanted their children to enjoy life and the freedom it has to offer. They felt that if independent thinking has to shape a child, he or she should be left free. Hence they did not send Minon to school. Minon’s sister Mintu also does not attend school and learns in her own way, like Minon.

A prolific painter, Minon has already participated in 65 exhibitions and has painted over 4,000 works since he turned eight. His other love is Malayalam literature, particularly works by his favourite author Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. He also lists Mark Twain, Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens among his favourite authors. A diversion from these home-bound activities is travel. He wants to grow up to be a globe-trotter.

While he doesn’t have many friends in his village, he is in touch with other homeschoolers in Kerala, whom he meets during his trips across the state. A firm believer in homeschooling, Minon firmly stands by his parents’ decision to let him choose his course of action and his future.

To read the full article in India Express (May 18, 2013) please visit http://www.indianexpress.com/news/learning-to-be-free/1117569/0