A board game played with cards and dice, Malamaal, which literally translates as ‘assets, and assets galore ’ is designed for children between 12 and 18 years. By answering questions, making decisions, taking risks, winning and losing, Malamaal players move along a trail of real-life issues– health, child rights, general knowledge, even violence and abuse. Paper money rewards, mock punishments and caricatures of ever-popular Bollywood matinee idols ‘asking’ questions are all part of the excitement and intrigue of the game.
Not only does Malamaal impart information and skills, it does so in a manner that is entertaining and non-hierarchical. It builds bonds amongst the adults and children who play it, and most importantly, highlights the importance of being informed in today’s world in order to be self-sufficient, socially and economically.
Malamaal is available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telegu, Nepali and French, and is currently being played by over 5,000 children in South Asian countries.
Created to fill a lacuna in age-and-context appropriate games for disadvantaged children in shelter homes and other institutions, it can be played by all children, regardless of their background. And we know of quite a few adults who have been captivated by it as well.