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Empowering Marginalized Children through DIY Libraries: The Qissa Pitara Project by JCB Literature Foundation

Empowering marginalized children in India through the Qissa Pitara Project by JCB Literature Foundation, creating DIY libraries to foster a love for reading and literacy.
on May 23, 2024
Empowering Marginalized Children through DIY Libraries: The Qissa Pitara Project by JCB Literature Foundation | Frontlist

The ASER 2022 Report highlighted a concerning trend in the decline of reading proficiency among Class 3 students, particularly in marginalized communities, attributing it partially to the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Recognizing the urgent need to address this issue, the JCB Literature Foundation launched the Qissa Pitara Programme in 2022, aimed at establishing DIY Libraries to instill a love for reading among children from marginalized backgrounds across India.

Since its inception in August 2022, the Qissa Pitara Project has made significant strides, with 44 libraries operational in various states, including Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam. These libraries have reached over 8800 children, offering access to a rich collection of 30,000 books. Through strategic partnerships with education-focused organizations, the initiative has created vibrant reading spaces in schools and community centers, fostering literacy and nurturing young minds.

Each library is managed by dedicated librarians from the local communities who undergo training to curate engaging activities such as read-aloud sessions, storytelling, art and craft activities, and interactive workshops. The diverse selection of books, sourced from leading children’s publishers across the country, caters to varying interests, languages, and cultural contexts, ensuring that every child finds literature that resonates with them.

Manish Tayal, Director of JCB Literature Foundation, emphasizes the transformative potential of DIY Libraries, stating that they transcend mere book distribution to become dynamic hubs of intellectual exploration and personal growth for marginalized children. These libraries not only facilitate knowledge acquisition but also foster resilience, confidence, and a thirst for learning, empowering children to overcome socio-economic barriers and pursue their dreams.

Archana, from the Green the Blue Trust, Vadodara, an implementation partner of the project, attests to the positive impact of the initiative, noting how children engage in word games, express creativity through art, and eagerly participate in reading activities, contributing to their holistic development.

Looking ahead, JCB Literature Foundation remains committed to expanding the reach of the Qissa Pitara Project, establishing new libraries and programming regional fairs to celebrate children's stories and oral traditions. Through these efforts, the foundation aims to bridge the gap in access to educational resources and empower marginalized children to thrive academically and beyond.

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