Updated: October 24, 2012 11:34 IST

Books and beyond

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
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Inspiration: Sonia with the children. Photo: Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
The Hindu
Inspiration: Sonia with the children. Photo: Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Having rediscovered her relationship with books at a library, Sonia is giving underprivileged children a peek into the same world

Sonia had left her studies when she could not clear her Class VIII exam. After battling her “failure” and “guilt” for some time, she took up a job in a library. This transformed her and encouraged her to take to books yet again in a more meaningful manner. Thereafter, she went on to complete her secondary and higher secondary education.

As she now encourages children in Madanpur Khadar JJ Colony Phase 1 in South Delhi to avail of the facilities offered by the World Vision library there, Sonia is confident that “books would make the underprivileged children in the area” see what the outside world is like and accomplish more than what they had ever imagined.

“My life completely turned around when, four years ago, I joined this place,” she said with her eyes beaming. The comics, storybooks and general knowledge and grammar books all inspired her to get back to serious studies.

And now as about 50 children visit the library daily during morning and afternoon hours, Sonia helps them in selecting what would be best for them. “But the library is not about reading alone. We also provide an opportunity to the children of the colony to play indoor games like carrom and teach them art and craft. Occasionally, children are also taken out into the open areas for a game of badminton. This provides them a good change as the colony is quite congested and such indulgences are not easy.”

The library recently donated 400 desks to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi primary school in the vicinity. The World Vision group also sponsors underprivileged children who are provided with photo identity cards. The group also provides stationery items and books and copies to the children.

Besides, the children are also presented with gifts like bags, blankets, buckets and water filters which not only help them, but also accord an opportunity to their families to lead a better life, said the young girl.

“And that is not all,” said Sonia, “We have also helped several very poor families construct their own houses.”

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