Many schools and communities in developing countries do not have library facilities, and as a result, children often lack access to textbooks, supplementary reading materials, and educational resources. Moreover, in remote and diverse communities, there are added challenges and realities faced by vulnerable children in attending school, accessing quality reading and learning materials, and finding opportunities to play.
READ Alliance and QUEST have taken the onus of responding to the literacy needs of vulnerable children through ‘Pustak Gaadi’, a mobile library, that provides a child-friendly environment, supported by trained literacy professionals, where the children can read, explore, and play. This photo blog highlights the different ways in which this library is inspiring and creating a generation of readers across tribal schools in Maharashtra.
Girls eagerly await the arrival of ‘Pustak Gaadi’, Library on wheels
A kid reading his favourite book. Pustakgaadi has been introduced in 10 ‘Ashram Shala’s (Residential schools for tribal children in Maharashtra) so far. Each school gets one visit per week.
Children choosing books they want to read
Library educator Mamta Raut taking a storytelling session
Pragati Raut, Library educator reads aloud to a group of children
A group of boys making bookmarks for their books
A child checking out the pictures and writings by children of his class. ‘Pustak Gaadi’ not only provides children with the opportunity to read or be assisted with their reading, but also have access to a supportive environment in which to do their homework, play, make friends, and spend time with their mentors.
Leena, a teacher in one of the Ashram Shalas helping out a child with her assessment. Pustak Gaadi educators don’t undertake formal assessments, but they regularly spend time with each child to understand their learning needs and areas that need to be focused on.
Ram and Vishal (theatre actors trained by QUEST) showcasing a play that was prepared basis a story read to the children. These plays are an important part in instilling an active culture of reading for pleasure and writing for expression. Through these interactive activities, QUEST is developing a love for reading and books.
Children enjoying with Vishal, Ram and Sagar during one of the theatre sessions
QUEST has brought back the joy in reading. This verbatim quote by one of the staff members sums it all up:
Children are always eagerly waiting with joy for the arrival of ‘Pustak Gaadi’. Teachers have told us that children hurry to complete their chores on the days when the van is scheduled, to ensure that they get to enjoy the benefits the library brings.
Your support can make it possible for more children to access books, read, play, and smile. To get more details about Pustakgaadi and engage in our work, drop in a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.