Published in affiliation with Ahmedabad-based Nagendra Vijay Science Foundation, the magazine aims to cover all areas of knowledge ranging from astronomy and aviation to weather and wildlife. It synthesizes information and presents it for young readers in a way that stretches their minds, stimulates their imagination and develops their reasoning skills. It is also designed to prompt questions which they are free to ask SAFARI and get them answered in the GK queries section of the magazine.
'More than anything else, it is our endeavour to get young readers to think more and more in an inquiry mode as opposed to simply memorise lessons.' Says Managing Editor Harshal Pushkarna.
'Children as well as teenagers have inquisitive minds. They are interested in how the world works and why things happen the way they do. Unfortunately, much of what they learn in school comes to them through the process of learning by rote, whereas it is the learning to think which is the real stuff of education. Besides, they remain constrained by the curriculum, and immense knowledge that lies beyond the defined course of their study is kept out of the classroom.' Says Pushkarna.
Through SAFARI (the word literally meaning expedition in search of knowledge), the thirty-years old publishing house seeks to initiate thought process in young readers, a vital force not only to counter the passive observation fostered by television-dependent age, but also to give them the upper hand in a highly competitive world.
Says Nagendra Vijay, managing trustee of the foundation: ''SAFARI' reflects the body of knowledge generally deemed appropriate for children aged 9 to 15 years, though effectively it is a big people/little people magazine. It is designed so that adults and youngsters work together and explore the fascinating world we live in. Compared with social studies, languages and math, general knowledge has been given relatively low priority in out education system. SAFARI will do its bit to restore equilibrium, because in the talent-driven society of today, knowledge is power. Tomorrow, when the youngsters grow up, it would be even more so.'
The first issue of SAFARI, priced at Rs. 25/- and now on newsstands, is a treasure trove of information.
It tells the young readers all about the designing and printing of currency notes. The immensely readable description is backed by colour diagram.
Another illuminating article gives a storylike account of a space shuttle's flight, from launching to landing. There is a free 38 cms. x 50 cms. colour poster of space shuttle which would surely be a collectors' item. An astronomer's cricket puzzle by Jayant Narlikar provides rare enjoyment and channels young readers' mental energy into logical thoughts.
There is a pictorial feature about the Maldives, the country most likely to be first to submerge due to rising sea level brought about by global warming. There is a variety of other reading material like quizzes, brain bogglers and Q & A on general knowledge, with a particular stress on science.
'SAFARI is not a magazine.' says Pushkarna. 'It is a concept, the kind of which has never existed before.'