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Libraries for underprivileged children

Peoples Voice on February 22, 2015 - 3:44 pm in Education

Basic Research Education And Development Society, has been in service of marginalized students for 25 years. BREAD has set up 660 Children’s Libraries in govt. high schools during the last 6 years in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to inculcate book reading habit reaching out to more than 3 lakh underprivileged children. These students have access only to free Text books given to them. They do not have purchasing power to buy books.

BREAD Children’s Library has 650 books of interest to age group children of 9 to 14 years. These are books with attractive colorful graphic designs from CBT, NBT, Publications Division, Ramakrishna Math, Pratham Books and other vernacular publishers selected by an Expert Committee on various subjects like stories with moral values, history, biographies, epics, culture, country’s freedom, science, geography, mathematics, general knowledge, personality development, puzzles, sports etc. It also provides a lockable steel bookcase for safe custody of books.

Library is set up with a donation of Rs. 25,000 from individuals or Rs. 30,000 from corporate entities. Books for about Rs. 22,000 are purchased in bulk directly from publishers for Rs. 14,000. Cost of bookcase is Rs. 7,000. Cost of packing and forwarding books and bookcase to the school is about Rs. 1,500. BREAD adds its contribution to create a Corpus of Rs. 10,000 for each library. Total Corpus is now Rs. 75 lakh. Donor’s name is affixed on each book and bookcase. Accession numbers are written on books. Issue Registers and Accession Register are also provided.  BREAD also sets up libraries in specific govt. schools suggested by donors.

BREAD seeks out schools securing 6 or more National Means cum Merit Scholarships (NMMS) and sets up libraries free of any charges with contributions from its donors. On an average one student in two schools gets an award. NMMS Test is held for 8th class students of govt. and aided schools. Successful students get a scholarship of Rs. 6,000 per year for four years till completion of +2. This is a Central Govt. program to arrest dropouts.

BREAD has honored over 1,250 headmasters and teachers of BREAD library schools in recognition of their dedicated service with Felicitation Functions at district headquarters. It has also simultaneously conducted Workshops and developed the following systems to operate the libraries.

i) Each section may have a weekly Library period to select, borrow and return books.

ii) Students may operate Library to learn life skills and to avoid burdening teachers with additional work.

iii) Class teachers may identify at least 3 responsible students for issuing books to their classmates.

iv) Separate Issue Registers for each class have been given along with Accession Register.

v) Library-teacher may train them to issue books. He/she will supervise and guide them when necessary.

vi) Students not returning books will not be reissued books but will only be allowed to read books in library.

vii)10 students from each school will get valuable prizes every year for best write-ups on books read.

viii) 15 students from each class must do write-ups on 20 books to qualify for prizes.

ix) Prizes are linked to nurturing tree seedlings in schools where there is enough space.

x) Class teachers, library teacher and HM will select the winners of best write-ups.

xi) 5 write-ups of winners copied on A-4 sheets may be sent with Prizes Data Sheet.

Parents and siblings read books borrowed by students adding up to over a million readers of BREAD library books.

BREAD monitors program through field visits and evaluates performance regularly. Results are very encouraging.

During 2014-15 BREAD has given 100 new books to 300 libraries set up in the first 3 years. It will give these 100 books to remaining 350+ libraries in 2015-16. It has also given prizes for write-ups to students during last 2 years.

BREAD has not had a single paid employee in 25 years of its existence. Members, Coordinators and Volunteers meet their out of pocket expenses to attend Meetings or on field visits to schools. Its overheads are about 2%. It does not incur expenditure on rent on office as well as workplace, printing its literature, Annual Reports etc.

BREAD has a Data Base with which all the work is handled effortlessly. Donors are given account of utilization of donations regularly. Each and every penny of the sponsor/donor reaches the beneficiary.

Small interest amounts received from banks on balances of donations are sufficient to meet administrative expenses even though a Corpus Fund of Rs. 15 lakh was created for it.

BREAD’s systems are totally transparent. Past several years’ Governing Body/AGM Minutes, Annual Reports with Audited Accounts, quarterly Newsletters and Reports of field visits are all on its website.

BREAD’s model is unique because it identifies beneficiary school based on excellent performance of headmaster, teachers and students in a national level test held for youngest age group students. BREAD can easily scale up operations in A P and Telangana, once funds are available.

This program can be implemented in any part of the country or even as a whole in the entire country. BREAD is willing to provide consultancy free of any charges to any organization taking up this program.

Corporates can take it up as a part of their CSR activity. They can suggest to their employees interested in doing voluntary work to visit BREAD library schools to guide students and infuse self-confidence in them.

Ramamohan Rao Kakani
BREAD Society