More than 3.700 books, 20 tablets and dozens of magazines and newspapers are reaching hundreds of people through wheels.
The aim of this project is to promote the habit of reading and tackle adult illiteracy, especially among women.
Today is a special day for Manasa (13) and her friends of Ramapuram, in Kosigi mandal . It is the Mobile Library day in the village. As soon as their classes are over, she and her friends run to the meeting point of the village, under the tamarind tree where, the librarian, Sowjanya is already setting up the book drawers.
The residents of Adoni region are delighted with the new Mobile Library that, since June, has been bringing education and knowledge to them on wheels. This initiative is more necessary in Adoni mandal, than in any other place, as more than 40% of the population do not know to read or write.
The Mobile Library (Sanchara Grandhalayam) carries more than 3,700 books, 20 tablets, one TV with a sound system for e-learning and dozens of updated magazines, newspapers and board games to cater to all age groups in 16 villages and the Government High Schools, reaching out to hundreds of people.
17 librarians, one for each village and one for the van, have been trained on orderly maintenance and functioning of the library.
Sowjanya, the librarian in charge of the van, joined this project a year ago. Before the project was started she went around villages analysing the literacy level and to spread awareness about the project. “Youth who have dropped out of school are taking keen interest by asking for books related with skills such as cooking, tailoring and agriculture,” she explains.
The Mobile Library aims to inculcate the habit and joy of reading from a young age and is also a useful tool to bridge the digital literacy gap that prevails in rural India. Apart from books, e-learning videos and tablets help children as young as three and adolescents to learn though an interactive and dynamic way and becomes their window to the outside world.
Committed to leave no one behind in the process of learning, the librarians are conducting basic reading and writing workshops for those who never had the opportunity to access education, especially women. In Adoni, the women literacy rate is as low as 43.5%.
These workshops are based on the Montessori Method which requires an active role of the participants. It uses elements that are part of the daily life and fosters learning through the use of different senses.
Children between 8th to 10th grade who are aware of the importance of education are also actively involved in this process. They voluntarily teach the rest of the community through narrating stories and games. This not only improves the self esteem of the adults but is an opportunity for exchange among different generations in the village.
“Tales of our village” is another of the many activities carried out through the Mobile Library. The aim of this activity is to document the folk tales of the area mainly known orally. These stories are currently being gathered and will be published in Telugu, English and Spanish with the original illustrations by the people of the villages.
Text: Felita Viegas and Aina Valldaura