Book drive takes libraries to villages in Marathwada, Vidarbha

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A non-profit organization will host a book drive at Fergusson College on Sunday as part of its initiative to provide library infrastructure in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.

The Eklavya organization launched “One village, one library” in 2017 to instill the habit of reading in people, especially children, living in villages in these regions.

As part of this initiative, book drives are being conducted in cities across the state where people can donate books, ranging from academic to non-academic titles.

Eklavya was founded by Raju Kendre, a graduate of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Tuljapur Campus, in 2014. At TISS, Kendre had developed a career guidance and counseling initiative for students in the classes X and XII. He had noticed a lack of information and youth-centered resources in the villages of Vidarbha and Marathwada.

“I come from a small village called Lonar in Buldhana district, Vidarbha region, and I did my primary education there. It was only after arriving in a city like Pune that I realized that the resources here are much more than what I had in my village. There are several vocational guidance centers, study halls, competition centers and libraries, which are absent in the villages, ”said the 25-year-old.

He added that what started as career counseling and counseling has turned into the idea of ​​“One village, one library”.

The idea was also inscribed in the state government organized “Transform Maharashtra” project and was selected as the popular choice among 300 applications in 2017.

“The idea mobilized young people and, subsequently, we started with book drives. So far we have been to cities like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Amravati, Latur, Osmanabad, Nashik and Aurangabad. We had collected almost 30,000 books, of which 15,000 to 20,000 books came from Pune only, ”he said.

So far, he said the initiative had benefited more than 25 villages, 10 of which did not have access to library infrastructure. Kendre also said the response on the ground was good as several villages approached his organization to provide them with more books.

“Books can range from study materials to story books, encyclopedias, magazines, informational brochures as well as literature for the elderly,” he added.

The initiative also provides libraries with computer systems and projectors to organize information sessions. Eklavya also plans to award scholarships to deserving students from marginalized communities in the two regions. The book drive will take place on Sunday at the main entrance of Fergusson College until 5:30 p.m.


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