Tech firm to distribute million books to govt. school libraries

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An owner of a tech company has embarked on an ambitious mission to distribute a million books among government school libraries across the state free of cost.

“The idea is to foster a love of reading in schoolchildren,” says M. Satish Babu, pointing to a collection of books of different genres scattered around him.

“Exposing children to a diversity in books will prepare them for life in a diverse world,” he says, informing that the collection around him is a sample of the one million magazines and comic books worth around ₹12 crore he intends to distribute.

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Founder and managing director of Tech Mark, a company that deals with e-solutions, digital marketing and imparting skill training to youth, Mr. Satish Babu was fascinated by the work done by US-based MagazineLiteracy.org that supplies new and recycled magazines and comic books to millions of young readers across the United States and now also in Canada, the Caribbean, South America and Africa, and decided to replicate the model here in collaboration with the US NGO.

MagazineLiteracy.org was started in 1994 by John Mennell who organised community hunger relief measures. He, however, realised that homes with less or no food did not have access to reading material too, a major factor contributing to a cycle of illiteracy and poverty for children and families. He then set out to share the reading material that could feed children’s hunger to read.

“I may not be able to take up the project on Mennell’s scale, but to begin with, I intend to distribute a million books in the first consignment,” says Satish Babu.

For him, it is a mission to deliver the joy of reading to children and strengthen their literacy skills and self-esteem. “The education sector has come to the centrestage under this government. The reforms to spruce up infrastructure and raise standards of education, as well as recent initiatives like ‘We Love Reading’ to inculcate the love of reading among students at an early age reflect the intent that goes well with our initiative,” Mr. Satish Babu says.

He recently met Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh, who saw samples of the book collection and expressed happiness over his initiative. Mr. Satish Babu is currently working on the logistics of bringing in the books from the United States for which would be compensated by the State government, and later, their distribution in the 43,359 government schools across the State.

The segregation and distribution of the books, planned sometime in November, will herald a new cycle of annual practice of ‘delivery of literacy to ward off poverty’ says Mr. Satish Babu.

Source: thehindu.com

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