Three months after over 2.52 lakh books were collected through a five-day book donation drive at Express Avenue Mall here for the ‘Aviva Great Wall of Education', presented by The Hindu, the donated books have reached the less-privileged children and teachers.
Two organisations – Save the Children and Vidyarambam Trust – along with the State's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) wing helped in distributing the books to lesser known pockets of rural Tamil Nadu, to underprivileged children from the city and those studying in government schools.
Note books, colouring and drawing books, ABC and 123 books, dictionaries and encyclopaedia, story books, comics, books for high school and higher secondary school students were collected in large numbers, with non-academic books being the biggest draw at every distribution centre.
Volunteers of Vidyarambam Trust distributed the books to 15 villages in four districts of Tamil Nadu. In some villages, they displayed the collection and allowed children to books of their choice.
While books with pictures fascinated the little ones, grammar books and Tamil to English dictionary caught the attention of middle school children. A class VI boy picked a matriculation book as he was curious to know how different the syllabus was. “Many were thrilled to get books as gifts and the fact that they did not have to return them after reading doubled their joy,” says R. Madhura, a volunteer. The volunteers also promise to help children who are not very fluent in English take up reading as a habit by conducting competitions or activities.
Non-governmental organisation Save the Children took the books to its two partners, Arunodhaya in Chennai and Association for Rural Mass India in Villupuram. While a good number of note books were distributed, activity and story books have been stocked up at its contact centres for children to read.
The SSA wing took the books to government schools in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts for students up to class VIII.
The books were mostly distributed after school hours by teachers and HMs. P. Devi, a final year B.Sc student, picked up three books, with a mathematics formulae book being of greatest interest to her. “I picked the book as I found all the formulae useful for my lessons well presented,” says Devi, who hails from a village in Thoothukudi and is sure this would help her even at MSc level.
According to the organisers, nearly 1,76,250 books which were of no relevance to the children or those that could not be used were recycled and converted into note books and other useful products to be used by children.