Published: 18th September 2018
Students of Saintgits College in Kottayam donate books to school kids
The initiative was launched as a part of the observation of International Literacy Day. The students donated over 12,000 books in a period of four months
When it comes to spreading knowledge even the smallest initiative helps. However, when the call went out to the students of Saintgits College of Applied Sciences at Pathamuttom asking them to donate their old books, the immense response set in motion a trend that would see children studying in 20 government schools taking up reading as their hobby.
The initiative was launched as a part of the observation of International Literacy Day. According to Sanju P Cherian, faculty and also the programme officer of the initiative, the students were asked to donate old books including storybooks and novels besides any study material towards the cause. "We didn't expect such an immense response. The students donated over 12,000 books in a short time period of four months," he said.
"It was an escape from the regular days of assignments, seminars, internal exams and evenings of WhatsApp chit-chats and Instagram updates. The students were energetic. We divided ourselves into groups and visited a few libraries and houses nearby. We even got offers from abroad," he said.
These books were donated to 20 government schools in Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts. They also distributed books at two schools in the tribal areas of Idukki."We didn't just hand over the books and come away. We helped the schools to set up libraries and also conducted training sessions for the students. The aim was to help the students realise the importance of reading and developing a habit for it," said Sanju. This gesture came in as a god given gift for many schools, especially those in the flood-affected areas of Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, said the programme officer. "Besides, giving the students an insight into problems faced by the people, the initiative helped strengthen the unity among the students. They also realised their commitment towards the society," he said.
According to M D Joseph, principal, the college is planning to expand the programme by joining it with the 'Unnath Bharat Abhiyan'. The schools that received the books are MD LP school, Kallunkal, Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, Govt tribal LPS Attathodu, Pathanamthitta, SNDP UP school Cherukara, Kainadi, Alappuzha, A J John Memorial Higher Secondary School, Kainady, Alappuzha, Little flower LP school Ithithanam, Kurichi govt LP school, St Thomas UP school Eravinelloor, Puthupally, Govt LP school , Pathamuttom, Govt UP school, Velluthuruthy, MD UP school Pazhanchira. Maliyakkadavu, Govt LP school. Poovanthuruthu, Govt UP School, Puthupally, Erikadu, Choorachira UP school, Vakathanam J M HSS, Thrikothamangalam NSS UPS, Chingavanam Govt UPS, N S S High School Chingavanam, Govt UP school Vakathanam, Ponganthanam UP school and Buchanan Girls High School - Kottayam.
According to Sanju, the crowning moment for the college was the day when UNESCO acknowledged their initiative. "We will be coming up with many more events," he added.