Meet Rajasthan’s unique camel cart-bound mobile library for village kids
Decorated with balloons and loaded with over 1500 books, the cart is probably the first such initiative.
Kids in rural Jodhpur are joyous at seeing the library coming to them on a camel cart. At a time when the schools are closed for primary sections, the library with a storyteller has become an attraction for villages located in the remote desert areas of Rajasthan.
A unique initiative of the mobile library on camel cart has been started for children in remote villages and hamlets of the state. Decorated with balloons and loaded with over 1500 books, the cart is probably the first such initiative.
Joint director, school education, Prem Chand Sakhla said the department, along with NGO Room to Read, has started this initiative under the International Reading Campaign 2021. “The School for primary sections is closed, though online classes are running but to ensure their connection with reading, the program has been started. The reading habit of children should not discontinue,” he said.
Sankhla said a camel cart was used as a library as other vehicles cannot reach remote desert areas.
Program officer and additional district project coordinator, Samagra Shiksha, Jodhpur, Laxman Gehlot, said this mobile library will cover 30 villages in rural areas of Jodhpur. The theme of ‘Nahi Rukhenge Nanhe Kadam; Ghar Par Bhi Sikhenge Hai Hum; and ‘India Gets Reading at Home’, has been kept under the Room to Read campaign.
He said a cart is accompanied by a rider, two members of the NGO, and a teacher of the nearby school. The children are given books according to their age and interest. The effort is not just to make the children read but to make learning interesting for them – the stories are narrated to them by the teacher, the NGO member, and even by the local educated villagers. “If the children are interested, then even the books are issued to them,” said Gehlot.
He said it has been over one and half years, the children need to be brought into the mainstream and the initiative is a step to maintain the connect. “The parents are also asked to involve with children and conduct some activities of reading and writing for at least 15 to 20 minutes every day,” said Gehlot.