A story worth telling

The Asian Age.

Life, More Features

Elphie, dressed in rainbow colours, is gender non-binary and welcomes all with open arms.

Drag queen Lush Monsoon, Keshav Suri, Cyril Feuillebois and Drag queen, Betta Naan Stop.

Shaping the future is synonymous with educating young minds, and books play a massive role in this process. In an effort to promote inclusivity and clear biases, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group has initiated a children's book series, "Elphie Books."

Elphie, dressed in rainbow colours, is gender non-binary and welcomes all with open arms. The books - Elphie and the Peacock & Elphie and the Dance Party - celebrate life. Elphie's struggles and his journey, where he learns the value of self acceptance and diversity;  was the main highlight and is the underlining message of the book.

To make these stories reach homes and heart, the hospitality Group organised ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’, where drag queens read stories to children. The entire exercise was aimed at educating children and parents about the sensitive issue of gender stereotypes and promote unfettered acceptance.

The main focus was to make children understand the concepts of inclusivity and diversity. In a first of its kind event, Drag Queens narrated the stories and participated in fun activities with the kids.

The book series that carry a spirit of hope are ideated and conceptualised by Keshav Suri, Executive Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, and founder of The Keshav Suri Foundation.

Sharing his thoughts on the concept, he said, “Even though I had a supportive family, I faced enough ridicule as a kid. I consider myself lucky that the experience didn't scar me for life.

But, the same may not be true for other kids. We can truly become an understanding and inclusive society when the next generation embraces it wholeheartedly. Hopefully, the Elphie Book Series will help the kids and parents get in sync with the idea and break the constructs of gender.”

The Group has made numerous attempts at promoting an inclusive society through its #purelove campaign.