Chennai

A textbook project

The team from the gated community. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A volunteering exercise to record audio books for a library in Kodambakkam has brought 10 women from a gated community in Vadapalani together.

D. Vijayalakshmi, S. Varalakshmi, Anandavalli Natarajan, Usha, Uma Ravishankar, Uma Maheshwari, Mythili, P. Visalam, Radha, E. Indu and Priya are part of the women’s WhatsApp group of the gated community ASTA AVM, which helped Vasanthan library in Kodambakkam digitise State Board’s Class X books for the benefit of students who do not have access to such a resource or may need additional help with the lessons.

When D. Vijayalakshmi learnt through a friend that the library was seeking volunteers to help them record State Board textbooks, she put out a post about it in the apartment’s women’s group.

“Ten women wanted to support the cause and we formed a WhatApp group for the initiative to ensure better coordination,” says Vijayalakshmi.

All that they had to do was record Class X textbooks from the comfort of their home, at their pace, and mail what they have done.

Each of the women took up tasks based on their strengths. M. Usha, for instance, has completed recording nine poems in Tamil language.

“Recording lessons is not new to me. I have done reading classes for the visually-challenged on a one-on-one basis but this was a little challenging as I also explain the poem, which means I have to refer books to first understand and practise a couple of times before doing the final recording,” says Usha.

School teacher E. Indu, who took up Mathematics, would solve the problems in a notebook, explain it and send the recording to the library.

P. Visalam, who retired from BSNL, is excited about doing the recording with two other friends from the apartment —Varalakshmi and Anandavalli. “We three are friends, so we took up Social Studies and divided the lessons among ourselves. Varalakshmi took up geography, Anandavalli, civics and economics and I took up history. We kept the target of finishing it in 10-15 days and made it as easy and interesting as possible,” says Visalam, who is also working on recording Bharathiyar songs.

Vijayalakshmi says it was a new experience for all of them. “Not all of us are teachers, so it took some doing on our part,” says Vijayalakshmi, who has taken voluntary retirement from a bank.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 8:43:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-textbook-project/article33767310.ece

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