The National Director of ChildFund India, Neelam Makhijani launched the campaign here by presenting books to marginalized communities in Odisha.
The campaign has been initiated with an initial investment of $1.2 million to encourage children to go beyond their text books and discover the joy of reading. Under this campaign, the organization has been planning to reach nearly 115,000 underserved students in 14 states in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Neelam Makhijani said “reading for pleasure is falling across the world; more so in India where the deprivation of books prevents too many children from achieving their full potential and contributing actively to society,”
Birupakshya Dixit, Zonal Manager of ChildFund India said “extensive reading and exposure to books make a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement
“‘Books, my Friends’ celebrates the importance of reading as a pleasurable activity in its own right, not just as a means to learning, and aims to make reading fun again, by empowering communities to inspire children and young people through books,” said Chiranjeet Das, Technical Advisor, ChildFund India.
By giving children the opportunity to own a book, “Books, my Friends”attempts to inspire them to become lifelong readers. The next stage will be to set up community libraries, train partner organizations to run reading enhancing activities that interest children, form and strengthen parents’ clubs to be proactive, and enable school management committees (SMCs) to provide a reading-friendly environment. Eventually, the campaign aims to effect systemic change in the reading culture for young students throughout India.