What started as an initiative on Independence Day ended as a useful contribution during Deepavali. When students of PSG Institute of Management wanted to do something for less fortunate children studying in rural and semi-urban schools, they did not want to do it by themselves. With the intention of involving the public was born the ‘Gift of Literacy’ campaign on August 15.
Students, in groups of three each, visited homes in many areas to collect books under the ‘Gift of Literacy’ campaign of the institute. The campaign was to mobilise books, magazines, novels, and audio-visual learning resources that could be used by students from Classes I to Plus-Two.
Students visited areas such as Peelamedu, Bharathi Colony, Saibaba Colony, Nesavaalar Colony, Saibaba Koil, G.V. Residency, Ramnagar, R.S. Puram, K.K. Pudur, Mullai Nagar, Marudhamalai Road, New Thillai Nagar, Sreevatsa Gradens, Mettupalayam Road, Vadavalli, Tatabad, Kovaipudur, Thudiyalur, Sowripalayam, Singanallur, Hope College, and Perur.
And, the response they got from the residents had the students inspired and motivated to take the campaign forward for a month. Book collection boxes were also placed at vantage points in the city.
The efforts of the students paid off and they were able to collect 14,500 books. This included back issues of magazines, books on various subjects, novels, and DVD learning material.
Students have started distributing the collected books to Government schools and Government aided schools in rural and semi-urban areas. The schools were identified with the help of the Chief Education Officer. Another part of it was given to Lebara Foundation that supports displaced children and children of Sri Lankan refugees, while the college books were gifted to the library of PSG Sarvajana Maanavar Illam.
As part of the campaign, students also gifted a year-long free subscription of The Hindu to six Government and Corporation schools, and the PSG High School at Vedapatti.
Sharing their experience, students said that they were overwhelmed by the response of the public when they knocked on their doors for collection of books. There were many who made the students visit a second time for giving more books. Generous contributors from outside of Coimbatore, from places like Hosur, Tirupur, Chennai and Puducherry, helped the students in making a difference to the lives of less fortunate children.