Book banks: A step to preserve, spread knowledge

  • Neeru Saharan, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 21, 2016 14:37 IST
Ryan International School, Sector 49, has adopted two villages, where it donates old textbooks. (HT Photo)

As tricity students prepare for the new academic session, it is most likely that their old books will end up with scrap dealers.

“As publishers keep revising books every year, I cannot hand them over to my younger brother. My parents sell the books to a scrap dealer,” says Aryan Kalia, a student of St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, who has appeared for the Class-5 exams.

Uma Manchanda, whose child studies at Delhi Public School, Sector 40, says: “We sell the books to a scrap dealer for around Rs 150 while a new set of books costs us around Rs 3,500.”

While textbooks are being sold as scrap for negligible amount, there are many children from the economically weaker section (EWS) who cannot afford to buy expensive study material. But what other options do parents have?

Schools take the lead

“On the ‘report-card day’, we ask students to donate their books. These are sent to non-government organisations (NGO), while old notebooks are given to Jagriti, an NGO that recycles paper,” says Geetika Sethi, director of The British School, Panchkula.

Ryan International School, Sector 49, has adopted two villages, where it donates old textbooks of students. Besides, it is working with an environment club for recycling of paper. “Old books can be sold for academic or reading purpose. This helps in inculcating the habit of reading among children besides providing good books to underprivileged children,” says school principal Poonam Sharma.

Sangeeta Sekhon, principal of Strawberry Fields High School, Sector 26, says the school’s parent organisation Durga Das Foundation has a social welfare department, which collects textbooks and outgrown uniform of children.

“We donate second-hand books to Mauli Jagran School in Manimajra. Children are happy to contribute to the cause,” says Gurpreet Bakshi, administrator, St Kabir School, Sector 26.

Other schools, too, agree that the idea of sharing books with kids from financially weak households is a noble one. “Books should be shared. Schools should spread the message and have a centre for collection of books. We, meanwhile, have started the practice of recycling notebooks,” says Reema Dewan, principal, Delhi Public School, Sector 40.

“Every school should have a counter to donate books,” says Agamdeep Singh, director marketing and branding, Tiny Tots Foundation School, Phase 10, SAS Nagar.

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