We have partnered with Hindustan
Lever Limited (HLL) to leverage a reading campaign for rural children
with the support of "Shakti Ammas" (Women distributors
for HLL Products) in 25 villages of Mandya District. This six-month
pilot is a multi pronged and community service oriented effort.
The objective is to motivate the Shakti Ammas to run village based
libraries with the co-operation of the Education Department officials,
the school headmasters, the village panchayati members, resourceful
village elders, not forgetting the parents of children who recognize
the significance of joyful reading and learning for children.
The pilot has a primary social objective of
getting children interested in reading from the primary school level
and making them literate which will enable them to have a range
of options for a better future.
The project being implemented in 2 phases over
the six-month period (June-September '04 and October -January '05).
The comprehensive plan starts with
- A survey of the school going children in
the village and classifying them into the age groups 4-6 yrs,
7-9yrs, 10-12 yrs and 13+ yrs.
- The Shakti Ammas are the trained on the importance
of reading and systems/procedures to be followed in the running
of village based libraries.
- An entire range of children’s books
and other essential pre-requisites are supplied to them from Akshara,
- Membership to these libraries is facilitated
and constant testing is done to assess progress in the reading
levels of children.
A 45-day accelerated reading program to help
children to learn to read better has been planned as the second
phase of the project.
The project is also expected to positively
impact in other areas as well. Health and hygiene coupled with healthy
reading interventions are expected to lead to all round development
of children in the District. A total of 1,500 rural children in
25 villages are expected to benefit from the project.