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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

A library for underprivileged kids

Hamari Jamatia, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 30, 2013
First Published: 23:32 IST(30/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:34 IST(30/1/2013)

The iconic India Gate will soon be witness to a quieter revolution. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will soon open the first free municipal library called ‘At home with books’ at Children’s Park. The library will cater to children between six and 14 years, who do not have access to books.

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One of the primary objectives is to dissuade underprivileged children from begging by giving them an alternative space to spend their day. “The idea is to promote the culture of reading among children. Even if some do not read books, we have installed computers and a television in the hall so that they can watch informative videos,” said Vidushi Chaturvedi, director (Education), NDMC.

To sensitise children about gender, the administration has decided to not stock fairy tales as it promotes stereotypes. Instead, a lot of local stories, poems and history books have been put up after a tie-up with Indian publishers.

The NDMC’s education department also plans to hold movie-screenings, meet-the-author events and plays. On November 14, the municipal body had hosted a children’s book launch at the library and had planned to inaugurate it a few days later but due to some problems, the inauguration had to be postponed.

The hall consisting of books, computers, sofas and rocking chairs can accommodate nearly 70 children at a time and will remain open from 11am to 6pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Children will gradually get the library membership cards based on the number of hours they spend in the library.

The NDMC plans to inaugurate the library as soon as possible.

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