During my stay at Munsiari, one of the community needs that came out strongly was the need for a good library or a reading space, preferably with books/audio-video in the local language (Hindi).
A friend's friend heard about my trip and came forward to support a library through an initiative called READ.
All I did was to put these 2 pieces together and today, a library for children and young adults in the age group 5-25 yrs is in the process of being setup.
There were 3 main reasons for the need for such a library.
1. While the children and young adults have access to conventional education, they do not have access to books on a wider variety of issues and subjects, particularly on the natural sciences and natural heritage.
2. Through a collection of audio video material, to bridge the digital divide.
3. Access to any kind of learning material (apart from school books) is almost non-existent and the nearest big town where books are available is more than five hours by road.
Books from the following sources have been suggested.
There is also a need for building/buying racks/shelves and related library infrastructure.
If you are interested in participating in this initiative, there are 3 (actually 4) ways of getting involved.
- Buy some of these books yourself and send it to Munsiari (or any special books that have inspired you as a child/young adult – I plan to send Kalam's “Wings of fire”)
- Bear the cost of some books/infrastructure by sending money directly to Himal Prakriti
- Contribute indirectly though READ
- Visit the place and actually setup the library and experience it first hand
“READ Initiative” is a group with an aim to provide access to good books to underprivileged children in India. Their main focus is schools and community centre libraries where books can be made accessible. By contributing books for the library, they intend to ensure that the “library/ reading space” becomes a special treat for the children.
They have successfully completed two years and have provided books to 11 schools across India.
About Himal Prakriti
Himal Prakriti is a non-profit, non-governmental organization registered as a charitable trust. Its work has been embedded in the community, and its role has been to extend support to the various conservation and livelihood issues in the Gori valley through education, training, research and advocacy activities. Through its educational initiatives, they aim to build on the community capacities in understanding and appreciating our natural heritage and to build on the body of knowledge that will strengthen lives that are dependent on nature in the Himalaya.
PS: Please ping me for the contact details of READ/Himal Prakriti