A ‘mini wall of books’ was set up at Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram School, Kilpauk, on Thursday, as a prelude to the ‘Aviva Great Wall of Education’ presented by The Hindu, to be launched in the city this Sunday.

Chennai Collector V. Shobana, along with students of the school, placed the first set of books on the wall, to mark the beginning of a large book collection drive in the city that The Hindu and Aviva Life Insurance have initiated.

Organised in collaboration with the State’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan wing, and non-governmental organisations Save The Children and Vidyarambam Trust, the drive will also have the collected books distributed to children from underprivileged sections.

Bhavan’s is among the nearly-300 schools in the city that are part of The Hindu’s Newspaper in Education programme which will support The Hindu in this drive.

Speaking on the occasion of the ‘soft launch’, Ms. Shobana said such initiatives helped children, who are denied their right to education, gain access to knowledge. "Education equips children to access better opportunities," she said, commending The Hindu and Aviva for the effort.

Inspector of Matriculation Schools S.Tamilmani said that he would urge all the matriculation schools in the city to support the drive, as it was for a significant cause – that of educating children from weaker sections. "We will soon ask the schools to collect and donate books for this cause," he added.

Ajit Prasad Jain, senior principal of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, said that the book collection drive should be seen in the context of the Right to Education Act, which also emphasises children’s right to education and schooling.

The ‘The Hindu - Aviva Great Wall of Education’ initiative will formally be launched at the Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, on September 5 and go on till September 9. Anyone who wishes to donate books for children could come to the venue and place their books on the ‘wall’ to be set up at the venue. Books are also to be collected by placing drop boxes at different schools and other venues in the city.

The event is supported by television partner NDTV Hindu, bookstore partner Landmark, radio partner Chennai Live and venue partner, Express Avenue.

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