Title: Sakha [The Friend]
Editor(s): Pramadacharan Sen (January 1883-June 1884). Shibnath Shatri, Annadacharan Sen, Nabakrishna Bhattacharya.
Publisher: Pramadacharan Sen, The Sakha Karjyalay, 60, Sitaram Ghosh Street.
Printer: Printed by Manimohan Rakshit, at the Shadharan Brahmosamaj Jantra, 81, Baranasi Ghosh Street.
First issue: January 1883
Price: Not mentioned [annual subscription - 1 Rupee]
About: In the history of Bengali children’s literature, Sakha is seen as the earliest secular juvenile periodical and the first children’s magazine to make a mark in a major way. In its sustained enthusiasm for children’s literature and in its firm commitment to their cause, the magazine reflected a singular concern.
With the epigraph “The Child is Father of the Man” printed on the cover, Sakha was refreshingly different from its more didactic predecessors and signaled a change in a new direction not only in juvenile publishing but also in the very concept of childhood. The articles in Sakha spanned a wide spectrum ranging from serialised fiction, mythological tales and lighthearted poems to travelogues and factual essays on science, nature, health and sport. It was the first literary venture to gather under its banner a group of talented authors like –Shibnath Shastri, Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri, Dwijendranath Basu, Labanyaprabha Basu and many others, most of whom, through their literary contributions, would later become part of the canon of Bengali children’s literature.
Sakha was also the first journal that featured a ‘Girls’ Special Page’ which was addressed to the female readers in particular. These pages typically consisted of recipes for various dishes or knitting patterns. This space, in aligning the feminine with the domestic, reinforced certain stereotypical boundaries for both the male and the female juvenile reader.
Illustrations: Illustrated with woodcuts.
Note: Merged with the peiodical Sathi and published as Sakha o Sathi from April 1894
Genre: Periodical, Monthly.
Source: The National Library, Kolkata
Shelfmark: 182.Qb. 883. 51-65
1 Tilte Page Vol I
2. Page 24
3. Page 35
4. Page 57