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An innovative project to set up libraries across rural India is drawing in interest and support from all quarters

The Gyan Key Project is an initiative taken up to work towards the opening up of libraries in rural secondary schools in key villages across the country.

The project that was started by rural entrepreneur and Pune-based activist, Pradeep Lokhande, has now reached over 1,255 villages, where they’ve set up at least two libraries every day, benefitting over 3 lakh students.

Students reading at a Green Key project library
Students reading at a Green Key project library

“The primary objective of this mission is to instill and develop the habit of reading in children at the proper age.

Students reading at a Green Key project library

There is a change in mentality of those who read widely,” says Lokhande, adding, “Education is what will build an enhanced nation and help in its progress in a promising way .”

The initiative, started in 2010, has benefitted libraries with donations of books, motivating over 94,000 students to pick up a book and get reading and also, to write.

“These libraries are set up for students from 11 to 16 years. We would like them to read content beyond the school curriculum,” shares Lokhande, “So, we make provisions for books that is suitable reading for that age group.”

Each library spread across the villages opens with a minimum of 150-200 books in the local language covering diverse subjects. The chief purpose behind building these libraries is for children to create a strong bond with books and collections, under the sole idea, “a library of the students, for the students and by the students”.

The library includes a varied collection including titles like Agni Pankh (Wings of Fire) by APJ Abdul Kalam, Batatyachi Chal by Pu La Deshpande and also Thailibhar Goshti by Sudha Murty. “If one wants to donate books, they can always get in touch with us by email so we can collect the books and send them to the libraries,” informs Lokhande.

Dr Vishwas Yevale, one of the book donors from Pune puts this idea into perspective, “Books will live as long as libraries are around. There is a feeling of immense contentment to know that steps taken in this direction — towards a knowledgeable India — are worth your investments. More should come forward to contribute for this cause.”

Prakash Chabriya, who has donated 171 books in each library, says, “These books go to places where the population is less. We believe in the upbringing of a society where the minds are fresh. I am glad I could do my bit and provide the opportunity for these children to have access to so many books.”

To donate books call: 9823014150

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