• Monday, July 15, 2024

NGO Transforms Old Bus into Mobile Library for Children

Sakthi-Vidiyal's innovative bus library in Madurai offers 300 books, creating a unique reading space for underprivileged kids, inspired by 'Totto-Chan'.
on Jul 10, 2024
NGO Transforms Old Bus into Mobile Library for Children

In an innovative move, Sakthi-Vidiyal has converted a stationary school bus into a unique library, allowing children to enjoy reading in a setting that mimics the experience of traveling with friends. Inspired by the Japanese children’s story "Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window" by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, the library aims to create an unconventional learning environment reminiscent of the World War II era, where classrooms were set up in old railway coaches due to the war.

C Jim Jesudoss, the executive director of the NGO, shared that the idea stemmed from the story's depiction of makeshift classrooms. The bus library, set up on the Sakthi-Vidiyal campus in Muthupatti, Madurai, provides access to around 300 books for children from underprivileged backgrounds. Jesudoss emphasized the importance of this library in offering children the chance to read, a luxury they might not otherwise afford, and in steering their attention away from smartphones.

The library, equipped with bus seats as chairs, caters to children from Class I to Class X, featuring a diverse range of books including storybooks, autobiographies, puzzle and riddle books, and picture books for younger kids. M Atheesri, a Class VII student from a government school, expressed his excitement about the library, saying, "Sitting in the driver’s seat with the steering wheel in my hand gave me the feeling that I was driving a bus while reading a book."

Class VI student A Theja from a corporation school noted the comfort of the bus library, which includes fans and tables, making it a pleasant reading environment. She appreciated the freedom to choose any book she liked, unlike the more structured school library.

The bus library can accommodate about 25 children at a time and is open to all kids in the neighborhood. Jesudoss hopes that the library will attract more children over time and potentially expand its reach.

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