The park’s in-house NGO aims to help 120 libraries with this drive, and also donate books to orphanages and hospitals.

Kerala IT park launches new drive to help govt schools aims to collect 50000 books
news Human Interest Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - 18:02

Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram is distinctive for two reasons – it is Asia’s largest IT park and it conducts charity drives on a mammoth scale.

Its in-house NGO, Tejus, recently joined hands with HANDS – which was just opened – to launch Bookathon 2018. This drive aims to collect 50,000 used books in a year from the community to set up 120 libraries in government schools and orphanages. It also aims to stock existing hospital and community libraries.

Calling it the largest community crowdsourcing activity in Technopark – which boasts of housing nearly 350 companies – the organisers said that they have roped in close to 25 companies to contribute to the cause and are expecting many more to join in.

“Our aim is to collect and distribute 5 lakh books by 2020. We have named this ‘Vision 2020’. The first phase of 50,000 books is being rolled out now and we are targeting to build libraries in schools near Technopark,” said Brijesh, co-founder of Tejus.

The initiative, which was launched on February 1, will look at a continuous collection and distribution system by getting new books and clearing them in a week.

Members of Tejus, who conducted weekly classes in schools nearby, found that the libraries in these schools were dismal.

“Many government schools don’t even have proper libraries. And even if they do, children have no access to books here due to stringent auditing. Our aim is to increase the children’s exposure by providing at least 4 to 5 times the number of books they have access to,” Brijesh said.

For those schools with minimum facilities, Bookathon will even get cupboards, tables and books for them to set up tiny libraries.

Further, the organisers also aim to distribute books based on the number of people accessing the libraries.

“If a 100-odd people are using a library, we aim to donate around 400-500 books, so that there is more choice for readers. Further, we also plan to donate books to orphanages and libraries in hospitals,” said Suresh Kumar, executive member of Tejus.

With the administration of the IT park backing the cause, it has seen support pouring in both from inside and outside. Recently, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor lauded the initiative on Twitter, helping spread word about the drive.

“Tharoor’s tweet really helped spreading word about the programme. Apart from this, we are also approaching companies and resident associations to support and contribute to our cause. We have started off to a great response and we hope it continues,” he added.

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