Dressed in vibrant costumes, young children from Kiriya Pushpa, Mysuru, and Amala’s Kutumba Abivrudhi Yojane, Tumakuru, were visibly excited ahead of their performance. When they saw the former cricketer Anil Kumble making his entry, they could barely control their excitement. They happily posed for pictures with their sports idol.
ChildFund India unveiled the nationwide “Books, my Friends” a campaign to help children read with joy, here on Wednesday.
Mr. Kumble launched the campaign and presented the children with “reading” bags – school bags with many books. Most children who were present at the function were from the marginalised communities. The thrilled children opened the reading bags they received to find colourful books with glossy pages, all filled with exciting stories.
Commending the initiative, Mr. Kumble said: “If you want to get more knowledge, it is important to read books. A culture of reading picked up at this age will continue for ever.”
He interacted with the children in Kannada, eliciting laughs from the enthralled children.
Badminton player Ashwini Ponnappa said: “It is nice that this event is not just about educational books, but also books that develop the child’s imagination.”
ChildFund India will be establishing 30 community libraries and donate 40,000 “reading” bags that will benefit 1.15 lakh children.
National Director of ChildFund India Neelam Makhijani said they would be training community animators, and working with teachers of government schools as part of the campaign.
Geoffrey Petkovich, Asia Regional Director of ChildFund International, sought more engagement from corporate companies and other foundations.