The Aviva Great Wall of Education in association with Hindustan Times, concluded on Monday with a bigger and better second year. Compared to one lakh books in 2009, more than 1.36 lakh books were donated by about 200 schools based in Delhi and the national capital region. The donation drive began on November 11 to commemorate National Education Day, the birthday of one of nation's greatest educationists Abul Kalam Azad.
The books, which will be distributed among underprivileged children, range from short-story collections, course books, encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Two NGOs, Save the Children and Khushii, will help distribute the books. Scholastic India, too, donated 10,000 books.
"I donated Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince," Shivani Tiwari, a Class 8 student of Navy Children School, said. "I often wonder how someone would feel if they crossed a book shop but could not afford a book. This was a great opportunity for me to help those who want to read but are unable to do so because of monetary problems."
Complimenting Aviva and Hindustan Times, Sachin Pilot, minister of state for IT and communications, concluded the event and said that the initiative was a very innovative way to reach out to the less fortunate.
"Passing on what we have at no cost or effort is the best way to help the underprivileged. It is not merely a book donation drive but it will also help them move forward. These small gestures of ours make us humane," Pilot said.
Among others present at the event were Gaurav Rajput, Aviva , Sudeep Mukhia, resident editor at Hindustan Times, Thomas Chandy, chief executive officer of Save the Children and fashion designer Leena Singh, who is also one of the board members of Khushii.