Mumbai, India – In their 40th year, the American School of Bombay (ASB) is gifting 40 libraries to rural, urban, and low income schools and communities in India. Partnering with Pratham Books, Shiksharth, Swatantra Taleem and SwaTaleem, ASB is supporting the drive to gift 100 libraries to villages in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh,Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and areas in other Indian states, in the annual Daan Utsav (Joy of Giving Week), which takes place from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 until October 8, 2021.
People from all walks of life, all over India, come together during Daan Utsav to create or participate in events that focus on giving. These gifts include time, money, resources, and skills, and provide an opportunity to experience the joy of giving. Ms. Seema Kamble, Community & Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinator at ASB says, “Even if we don’t have much, each of us has the power to give. Daan Utsav is a great opportunity for our community to experience the joy of giving.”
This Daan Utsav, a group of organisations are coming together to bring a reading revolution to rural India through establishing 100 children run community libraries. Each library will hold 100 books of different genres, in the regional languages where the libraries are being set up. Working with non-profit organizations who work in rural and tribal areas, the books will be distributed to villages who have applied for the libraries, to support reading and learning activities within their communities.
Children in rural India have been severely impacted by the global pandemic. Many children have had no access to education since March 2020 due to the lack of electricity, internet access, and digital devices, which would allow them to continue learning online. The gift of 100 libraries will help children pursue their love of reading and storytelling, and provide a positive impact not only to their learning but for their entire communities. To ensure the sustainability of this project, the libraries will continue to be supported by the Liferarian association, a non-profit community of Indian librarians.
When Ms. Kamble heard about theinitiative to donate libraries across India, she immediately set about organizing fundraising activities as part of ASB’s CSR (Community and Social Responsibility) program. As a community, ASB has committed to fundraising and establishing 40 of the 100 libraries, which will help mark ASB’s 40th Anniversary year. “I can think of no better way to celebrate our 40th year than by giving back to our host country, India, in such a positive and impactful way,” Mr. John Smithies, Deputy Head of School said. “We recognize the hardships our rural and urban communities have endured through the pandemic, and continue to endure with schools shut all across the country. Daan Utsav provides one focus point for our 40th anniversary year, and the donation of 40 libraries through community giving and fundraising provides real perspective for our students in understanding their own privilege – and the positive impact they can make on enhancing the lives of others.”
Funds are now being raised for the other 60 libraries. Each library of 100 books costs approx. 6000 INR (approx USD$82). During Daan Utsav books will be distributed and communities will participate in real aloud sessions, storytelling and other activities for children, community members and elders.
To donate, visit https://bit.ly/Gift_A_Library
For more information, please contact Rachel Burchett, Director of Communications at the American School of Bombay: email@example.com
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF BOMBAY
Located in the heart of Mumbai, India, the American School of Bombay (ASB) is a coeducational, independent, non-profit school for students Prekindergarten – Grade 12. Celebrating 40 years of excellence in education in 2021/22, we offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years and Diploma Programs (IB PYP & IB DP), and are fully accredited by the Middle States Association (MSA). ASB’s Mission is to inspire all of our students to continuous inquiry, empowering them with the skills, courage, optimism, and integrity to pursue their dreams and enhance the lives of others. Serving others, with a desire to make a positive impact in their world, underpins an ASB education.
With our home in India’s vibrant cultural and financial capital, Mumbai, and a student population drawn from more than 50 countries, ASB is intentionally international. We identify the big issues that are affecting our students, and actively address equity, diversity and inclusion, both philosophically and through explicit teaching. We are committed to open dialogue with our students, parents and staff, to better educate ourselves and each other, and make a positive impact in our local and global community.
ABOUT ASB’S CSR PROGRAM
All students at ASB engage in CSR (Community and Social Responsibility) programs. Service to others is embedded in our Mission statement, and we expect for all our students to actively enhance the lives of others whilst at school and after they graduate.The purpose of our CSR program is to provide students with on-going opportunities to become aware of the social and environmental challenges that exist in Mumbai and India, to serve the needs of others in our communities, and to reflect and learn from those experiences. Every student from Elementary, Middle and High Schools participates in CSR activities throughout the year.
DaanUtsav (earlier called the Joy of Giving Week) is India’s festival of giving. Launched in 2009, the festival is celebrated every year, commencing on Gandhi Jayanti, from October 2 to 8. From autorickshaw drivers to CEOs, school children to celebrities, homemakers to opinion leaders and media personnel, millions of people from all walks of life come together during this week to give their time, money, resources, or skills back to society. They do this by creating or participating in events of their choice. A giving event could be as simple as a family taking out their maid’s children for an ice cream party, or as large as a gift of compassion. The latter is an event that has over 10,000 school children across India making and exchanging gifts with their peers from different socio-economic backgrounds every year.
ABOUT PRATHAM BOOKS
Since 2004, they have been creating engaging storybooks in multiple languages and formats to help children discover the joy of reading – in languages they can understand, set in locations they can recognise, featuring characters with whom they can identify, and telling stories that capture their attention and fuel their imagination.
Shiksharth is a not for profit working for children from conflict areas and adverse geographies ensuring safe spaces and excellent education through contextual education solutions. They are currently operating in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, a tribal region in Central India suffering from conflict because of left-wing extremism.
Liferarians are a passionate community of Indian Librarians who believe in empowering and leveraging the role of a librarian in an educational organization. Liferarians believe in collaboration to promote and implement innovative practices through new developments in education and knowledge realms.