A library that takes books to neo-literates

Alappuzha library to foster reading culture among learners of various literacy courses

Eighty-year-old Clara of Mararikulam South in Alappuzha is all smiles after reading a few lines from a poem by Kunjunni Mash delivered to her from the Nava Saksharatha Library (library for the neo-literate).

The octogenarian is undergoing seventh standard equivalency course conducted by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA). Apart from imbibing limited lessons from study material, neo-literates like Clara can now enrich their knowledge of history and culture by reading short stories, novels, poems and so on. Thanks to a programme launched by the Alappuzha district panchayat, which aims at improving reading skills and fostering the culture of reading among the neo-literates and learners.

2,000 books

As part of the initial phase of the programme, the district panchayat has bought 2,000 books and set up a โ€˜Nava Saksharatha Libraryโ€™ at Njanapeedam Library, Kattoor. The books are delivered at the doorstep of the neo-literates and learners of various programmes of the KSLMA.

According to the district panchayat authorities, it is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the State. G. Venugopal, president, Alappuzha district panchayat, says the doorstep delivery of books will introduce hundreds of neo-literates into the world of reading without even travelling to get a book of their choice, especially during the COVID-19 times. โ€œWe are implementing this programme with the support of KSLMA to inculcate the culture of reading among neo-literates and those undergoing various equivalency courses and other programmes. It will provide people with the joyous experience of reading. Normally, elderly people are reluctant to go to libraries. Here, preraks and instructors of the KSLMA will reach out to the learners with books every week,โ€ Mr. Venugopal says.

Reviews too

Besides reading books, the learners also need to review the books they read. โ€œNeo-literates have fragile levels of literacy. Apart from textbooks, reading books such as stories will sharpen their reading skills. It will provide them with a whole new experience, which they have not experienced until now,โ€ says an official.

Books from the Nava Saksharatha Library will be delivered in Mararikulam South, Mannancherry, Aryad and Muhamma grama panchayats under the Aryad block. There are more than 700 learners there. District panchayat officials say such libraries will be opened in other blocks in the district in a phased manner.

It was launched by Mr. Venugopal the other day.

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