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Padho Likho Maza Karo

At Eklavya Foundation, we have been working in the field of education and publications for over thirty years now. Through our work in education we have come to believe that inculcating a reading habit in a community would greatly help in improving the status of their education. Our education system is essentially based on textbooks and exams that rarely motivate children to do any other sort of reading. As a result of the poor quality and scarcity of reading material the development of a reading habit amongst the Hindi-speaking communities is quite low.

Keeping all this in mind, Eklavya Foundation began the work of building an atmosphere conducive to reading in communities in villages in and around Bhopal.  As a part of this programme reading rooms have been established for primary and middle school children. Here, reading activities for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years are conducted. Some of these children are first generation learners in their families.

So that books reach the families as well, books are issued from the reading room. Young mothers are encouraged to read with their children. Where young mothers have not received school education, we help them participate in the education of their children via stories.  In addition, we have made attempts to bring community knowledge to the reading rooms in its diverse forms - stories, poems, information on sports, crops, health or the weather. Children also share their knowledge of the community in these reading rooms as do young mothers with the children. In this atmosphere for reading, we are also trying to bridge the gap between the school and the community.

The confidence of children has increased because of the library activities along with this their urge to ask questions. They are able to relate their own experiences to the stories they come across in the reading room, they even think critically about these stories. And now, they are able to think about their textbooks similarly.

Over a period of two years, we have built a constructive environment for more than 400 children and over a 100 mothers in 12 villages. The children who used to hesitate to go to school are now taking steps towards their schools. And those children who were scared to read now read their school textbook with great assurance.

Along with encouraging reading we are also working towards empowering the youth, specifically the girls in the villages - the reading rooms are run by young women. Because of this, the attitude of young women in these villages towards studying and their own employment has changed. Training sessions for these young women are regularly held so that not only are they able to do their job better but also so that their views about education broaden.

Currently, we have been able to cover 12 villages in this project of ours but we want to expand our reach and increase our efforts to give a meaningful education to deprived communities. For this we would like your support and financial assistance. We appeal to you to help us in our efforts to improve the education of children in these communities.

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