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  • Writer's pictureAnustup Kundu

7 DIY Libraries in Kolkata are Using the JCB Literature Foundation's Qissa Pitara Project to Introduce Children From Marginalised Communities to the Joy of Reading

News Desk, News Nation 360 : According to the ASER 2022 Report, the proportion of third-grade students in government and private schools who are proficient readers of text appropriate for second graders fell from 27.3% in 2018 to 20.5% in 2022. The COVID-19 Pandemic's effects were visible in 2012, when this proportion was last this low, at 21.5%. Over time, longitudinal surveys have demonstrated a clear correlation between school dropouts and a lack of reading fluency. As many of the children who use the Qissa Pitara libraries are first-time readers, committed librarians are selected from the local community and given management training. At the moment, the 44 libraries are managed by 44 librarians in various locations. Through diverse activities like storytelling, arts and crafts projects, read-aloud sessions, and interactive workshops, children are encouraged to explore a variety of literary genres, express themselves creatively, and cultivate critical thinking abilities. Initiated in August 2022, the Qissa Pitara Project is rapidly gaining traction throughout India. In less than a year, the JCB Literature Foundation expanded the project to Kolkata, establishing seven DIY Libraries. Since their establishment, these libraries—which were partnered with Kolkata's "Child in Need Institute"—have engaged more than 1800 kids. With 30,000

books in circulation and 44 libraries operating in states including Assam, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, over 8800 children are impacted. The JCB Literature Foundation has established lively reading areas in community centres and schools through collaborations with organisations that are dedicated to education, encouraging literacy and uplifting young minds. The JCB Literature Foundation, a prestigious non-profit organisation, launched its Qissa Pitara Programme in 2022 in response to the concerning circumstances and the Foundation's goal of promoting the art of literature within India. This initiative aims to create DIY libraries and provide children from marginalised communities in India with the joy of reading, thereby fostering literacy, free thought, and imagination. Every library has a wide selection of books from top children's book publishers in the nation, which vary not only in genre but also in language to accommodate the various communities, locales, and areas that the children come from. As a result, even though every library has a similar goal, they are all also distinctively different and designed to meet local needs.


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