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Spread the joy of reading: Donate books to the less privileged

Do your bit for the city’s underprivileged children by donating books. Here are some NGOs which you can coordinate with, for donating books.

more lifestyle Updated: Sep 10, 2016 08:01 IST
Etti Bali
Actor Ranbir Kapoor engages children in a storytelling session organised by Uday Foundation.
Actor Ranbir Kapoor engages children in a storytelling session organised by Uday Foundation.

A true bibliophile knows the value of a book and most would go to any extent to share the joy of reading. If you have a stock of abandoned old books, which once regaled you, helped you through a rough patch, or brought a smile to your face, then it is time to pass on the feeling.

Many NGOs Delhi urge people to donate old books and reading material for the underprivileged. And if one wishes to do something beyond donations of books, one can even volunteer for reading sessions. Professor Surinder Singh Jodhka, Social Sciences Centre for the Study of Social Systems at Jawaharlal Nehru University, says, “Literacy is very important, and education need not be imparted in just schools. We must develop a culture of reading as it takes a child a long way. Books need to be made a part of the environment a child grows up in. What these NGOs are doing must be encouraged and recognised.”

Read: Book banks | A step to preserve, spread knowledge

Developing Thought through Stories

Katha works with underserved children by bringing quality education and reading within their reach. They also publish books and have over 300 titles in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and storybooks. What sets them apart is the fact that they are bringing back the art of storytelling.

Children involved in a reading session.

“Stories get students to ask questions. The mind grows when there is empathy, compassion and an understanding of the world around us. Stories help children and young adults achieve this,” says Geeta Dharmarajan, founder.

‘I Love Reading’, a campaign started by the NGO in 2004 urges people to donate books. Renuka Malaker, development director, says, “I believe that children should have access to quality books, and the books should be in good condition when donated.” The NGO welcomes participation of volunteers to take part in their programmes. “Everyone is a storyteller, and we have volunteers who work with us in different capacities,” says Dharmarajan.

Companion through Curfew

Uday Foundation not only works with an aim to provide shelter, food and basic amenities to the homeless and disaster-stricken, but also works towards imparting education to children. Through its book donation drives, the NGO manages to collect around 50,000 books annually.

Kids gather around actor Ranbir Kapoor as he reads out from a storybook.

“We have deployed two vans under our ‘Story on Wheels’ programme that visit hospitals everyday, where our volunteers read out from the books to sick children. We also have Bollywood actors like Ranbir Kapoor and Manoj Bajpayee on board. They have visited hospitals where reading sessions are held,” says Rahul Verma, founder. In addition to sending dry ration and clothes for relief work, the NGO makes sure to send books for children in affected areas. “What’s a child to do during a curfew? With no access to the outside world, books become their companions,” he adds.

Read: For the love of books: The joy of reading, brought to you by publishers

The NGO has 138 schools in the city on board that collect books and drop them at their centre in Adhchini. You too can be a part of this initiative by donating books and study material, or as a volunteer.

A library for all

Deepalaya NGO runs a community library and a reading project, under which they operate two libraries that stock novels and storybooks. “Our volunteers hold read-aloud sessions with the kids. The way a story is told is very important as it invokes curiosity and makes them ask questions. The children also take books home for further reading,” says Jaswant Kaur, communications director.

Books, toys and puzzles aid a child’s learning process.

People can donate books at the libraries or if there are books in bulk, then the NGO collects them from a centralised location. “It is not possible for us to hold door-to-door pickup drives. So if you have a bulk collection of books from your neighbourhood, then we can arrange for a pickup,” she adds.

Starting a dialogue

Hope Foundation started the Slum Children Education Programme in 2010, under which it runs schools for underprivileged children. They also have book collection centres spread over the city, where people can donate books.

“We have a library of books which include storybooks and motivational books. We urge people to donate books, preferably in Hindi,” says P Chandrasekaran, head, North India operations. Volunteers at the foundation engage the children in crafts, music, tailoring and other vocations.

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“There are times when children don’t understand things by reading alone. People can also join us as storytellers and read out the books to the children, engage them in conversation about various subjects,” says Lalita Francis, senior programme manager.