YOUNG WORLD

Spread the joy of reading

Getting started: Book distribution

Getting started: Book distribution  

PREETI RAGHUNATH

Books might be second hand, used or torn, but they still spread joy.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”, said Margaret Fuller and the unfortunate reality is, not every child is provided with this luxury to “simply read to one's heart's content.” Taking this idea of knowledge a step further, Strawberry Fields Pre-school and Day Care Centre, the flagship brand of Educational Catalysts India Pvt Ltd. organised a Used Book Drive, to cater to the learning needs of children who cannot afford them.

“There are so many children who come to our pre-schools from the higher economic strata of society and they benefit from our programmes and facilities. “This was a small effort made by us to bring about the love for reading in underprivileged children” says Anita Rao, Managing Director, Educational Catalysts. “With the books collected, we propose to build libraries in various orphanages and initiate the process of reading among these children.” The effort resulted in a drive that was initiated on Children's Day, wherein over 1200 books were collected from the schools branches in Marredpally, Madhapur, Gachibowli, Hasmathpet, AS Rao Nagar, Srinagar Colony, Kukatpally, Basheerbagh and other places.

The recipients of the books thus collected were two orphanages in Hyderabad – Auxilium Navajeevana Home for Girls, Musheerabad and Association Saikorian, Project Krushi, Medchal. Auxilium Navajeevana houses 49 girl children, studying in various schools and cared for, by the missionary. These girl children, mostly under the age of 10. Says Sarala, Std. V, Government Girls High School, “I really like to read books, because we can learn from them,” even as her younger friends echo the sentiment. “Reading helps me learn big words”, says Lalitha, Std. I.

Kind gesture

“It is heartening to see some kind-hearted people come over and teach our kids and bring them books. We do our best and send them to schools and encourage their education in every possible way,” says Sr. Margaret of Auxilium Navajeevana.

The children here are also tutored by Vandana, who is doing her first year of B.Com at Amrutha College. “I think reading books other than school texts are very important. In fact, one of my students here had a story writing contest in her school and I had related a story to her long ago about a son who ill-treats his mother and throws her out of the house because she is blind.

Later, when the son meets with an accident and loses his eye-sight, it is the mother who takes care of him.

My student wrote this story for the competition and added her opinion that while there are many like her who do not have parents to care for them, people who are fortunate enough to have parents ill-treat them.

These children are extremely intelligent and warm, and pick up what they are told and what they read, very quickly. Reading definitely helps structure one's virtue and inculcates good thinking.”

Says Anita Narayanasamy of Strawberry Fields, “The response we have received from students of our schools, is amazing. We would like to continue doing such work in the future. Those interested in contributing to the collection of books, are welcome to visit any of our branches.”



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