The new batch of MICA, India’s premier management school for Strategic Marketing and Communications, Ahmedabad has developed unique and engaging audio novels that addressed issues plaguing society. After attending a three-day workshop titled ‘The Audio Novel’, a total of 224 students of incoming cohorts of PGP (Post-Graduate Program), CCC (Crafting Creative Communication), and FPM (Fellow Program in Management) produced 20 audio novels on a variety of social issues including COVID-19 awareness, gender equality, LGBTQAI+ issues, caste discrimination, digital divide, mental health, gender stereotypes, fake news through a riveting narrative.
The 3-day workshop exposed them to the process of writing a script, nitty-gritty of voice recording, background score, how to do research on social issues, pre, and post-production, etc. Each student team was mentored by MICA faculty to ensure proper addressal of chosen social issues and storytelling.
MICA had been conducting a photo novel workshop, an attractive communication medium, for the incoming students for many years. Due to the sudden lockdown in 2020, the format of the photo novel was changed to audio-novel since the students had to record the same remotely. The institute has published over 130 photo and audio novels to date. This workshop helps students with creativity, storytelling, social research, conflict resolution, and managerial abilities of planning, organizing, teamwork, and execution. The students experientially learned creative thinking, team working, communication, and decision-making.
The institute recently hosted an award ceremony in the presence of the Chief Guest Dr.Bhushan Punani, Founder, Blind People’s Association (BPA), and Dr.Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA along with other faculty members. As part of the ceremony, the newly released 20 audio novels were e-gifted to Dr. Punani, who received them on behalf of BPA.
The winning audio novel titled ‘Working from Home – A Privilege of the Few’ examined two sections of the society, one that is fortunate to work from home during the pandemic whereas the other who take the battle head-on and step out to work. Whereas the audio novels that bagged the second and third position, ‘Maa Ki Taang’ and ‘KhabarDaar’ focussed on Pseudoscience and fake news respectively.
Dr. Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA, said, “Every cover and title of the audio-novel stories touched my heart. Students have adopted the campus-based video-novel projects and created audio novels. Real-life management is about solving important issues in our society as well as managing ourselves. The goal of this unique and innovative initiative at MICA, led by Prof. Kallol Das, is to help students reflect on self and societal issues in a creative way, and also design a digital story-telling business model. Like every other year, audio-novels bring great awareness and learning for the MICA community.”
Prof.Kallol Das, Anchor Faculty, Audio-Novel workshop at MICA, said, “Given the increasing popularity of podcasts, we introduced the audio novel workshop last year to ensure learning from home given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The students produced 20 audio novels on a variety of social issues ranging from Toxic Positivity, educating people on COVID-prevention, Health Education, Pseudo Sciences, etc. In the process, the students deepened their understanding of Meta-Skills – capabilities required to acquire any skill – in order to be effective lifelong learners.”
Dr.Bhushan Punani, General Secretary, BPA was overwhelmed at the quality and nuances of each audio novel. He said, “Listening to the audio-novels, I was reminded of a very famous TV program called ‘Hawa Mahal’. Your diction, the sound, the music, and the sequence were far better than Hawa Mahal. The scene you all created was as good as seeing a movie. We welcome and receive the audio novels with great honor and appreciation. While the audio format is very powerful, it is the only format for people with visual impairment. Moreover, the human voice is more pleasing to people with visual impairment than an electronic voice.”