In this age of technology, increasing craze of video games and computers, decreasing the trend of reading book among children and youths. This has stunted their cultural as well as physical development. Akshar Bharati is an initiative to nurture reading habit among children between age group of 5-15 years from underprivileged and remote areas by facilitating access to good literature. Under this project, libraries are set up for such children in their localities to make them books available when they need them the most.Akshar Bharati (AB) strongly believes that quality reading develops wisdom to make appropriate choices as one grows up which ultimately enhances the quality of life by becoming better citizens. This is Akshar Bharati’s way of contributing to India’s vision 2020 of being a developed and self sufficient nation. AB provides an easy way for everyone to get involved in this social cause. It’s mission is to equip each underprivileged society across India with a community library that will encourage the habit of reading and self development. Working ModelAkshar Bharati collaborates with local NGOs and schools for setting up library. NGO/school runs the library on a regular basis & Akshar Bharati provides them support to run the libraries effectively. The advantages of working with area specific NGO are: NGO volunteers can look after Akshar Bharati library and provide the constant feedback about working of AB. AB does not need to have a dedicated person required to manage the library.Once the library is in place, karyakartas are encouraged to conduct various activities at the library location, so as to build curiosity among children to utilize books of the library. AB karyakartas conduct regular paper toy & science experiment activities at various locations.Akshar Bharati library has following salient features:No separate room required.Storage shelf is provided if required which can be kept in corner without obstructing other activities.Book shelf library model to easily accommodate 1000 books.No dedicated staff required.Akshar Bharati assistance if any book is torn or not getting used.At any time, library can be scaled up with additional books.Facility to procure & donate project specific books.KaryakartasAB has a team of more than 800 karyakartas from corporate companies, service industries, schools, colleges, etc across India. Typical volunteer activities include library setup activities including site visits, due diligence, book stamping, etc; library support, feedback and checking new requirements; road shows, fund raising, awareness events; back office activities like website management, data consolidates, etc. Akshar Bharati engagement process with associates those who are actively involved in delivering Akshar Bharati libraries starts with identifying potential places which need help. This information is usually made available by the associate NGOs and other known people/groups when they come across such requirement. Once the place is identified, a group of Akshar Bharati karyakartas survey the place to gather following data such as:Why kids come there? (Is this a school or a classroom facility)What kind of setup they have?What is the family background of kids?How can we help them? What kind of books can be donated? Who will look after the library? How will feedback can be obtained from them at regular basis?Books procurement:New books are procured directly from the publishers. Hence heavy discounts are obtained on the funds spent. Books are selected on the basis of feedback received from the currently set up libraries, institutes and NGOs. Books are donated & library is inaugurated at the location. An NGO volunteer or school worker is assigned responsibility of looking after the working library. This person acts as a point of contact to provide feedback and get help from Akshar Bharati team. Project DhruvaProject Dhruva involves various activities at library locations to ensure and measure the appropriate impact of libraries on kids through volunteer–children engagement and in turn effective influence on overall personality development of kids.This is the platform for children to demonstrate their experience with the books and Akshar Bharati volunteers to share their expertise & experience with next generation. Some of the activities under Project Dhruva are–essay writing, book reviews, story telling, group reading, skits, spoken English, basics of computers, presentation skills, Vedic mathematics, sports, performing arts, etc.LibrariesIn last three years, over 190 libraries have been established in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Goa, J&K and Rajasthan for children of primary and secondary schools. Each library contains around 800-1000 brand new books specifically chosen for different age groups in local, Hindi and English languages. ContactKailas NarawadeCo-ordinator, Akshar BharatiPhone: +91-9604533919Office:Akshar Bharati,A-202 Mitrangan,Opposite Cafe-Coffee Day,Baner Road, Baner, Pune - 411045(Maharashtra, India)Phone: +91- 9604533919e-mail: email@example.comHow to reach:By air: Pune Airport is located about 10 km away from the heart of the city, in Lohagaon area. Regular, direct flights are available from Pune to many cities in India. Cities like Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai are well connected to Pune.By train: Pune is an important railway junction in India. Good rail network connects Pune with all other rail junctions in India.By bus: Pune is well connected with many of the major cities in Maharashtra by state owned bus services. Private luxury deluxe buses operate from Pune to many cities in India, including Goa, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Regular frequent bus services connect Pune with Mumbai.... ...
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