Image: Northeast Now

Even as India moves surely and steadily into the digital age, the Xondhan Foundation of Assam believes that it is books that form the staple for the minds of young children.

Keeping this in mind the Xondhan Foundation headquartered in Guwahati in association with Child Help Foundation, Mumbai has already set up ten libraries in LP dchools across the State.

The tenth one was set up in Mushalpur in Baksa district recently.

Nayan Jyoti Kalita, founder of Xondhan said that the libraries were being set up in LP schools, the last in Mushalpur, Baksa district.

“We began Project Gyanaam in February this year with two schools in Lakhimpur district. Along with the books we give the children pens, pencils, erasers and even in a few schools, chocolates. We even donate almirahs or any other small furniture to a school if required,” he said.

He is helped by two other members Priyankush Kalita and Alakesh Sharma.

Despite the TV and the growing influence of the world wide Web to access information, Kalita does not believe that reading books is passé.

“Our folk stories are invaluable repositories of our culture and heritage and these can be imbibed from our story books. Very less of this material is available in the net in Assamese,” he said.

“Mobiles,  computers and the TV cannot replace the feel of a good book with attractive illustrations. For toddlers, the first reading material should always be book,” he further said.

The Foundation donates 50 or more such children’s books which form a small library and the school can build up on this depending on the response.

Kalita had himself begun with taking out an e-magazine, Xondhan.

The e-magazine bagged the Manthan 2015 South Asia and Asia Pacific award in the e-culture, heritage and tourism category. The awards were given in eight categories by Empowerment Foundation, a non-profit social enterprise established in 2002.

The Xondhan Foundation has for its mission the dissemination of information on technology, innovation, culture and tourism for the greater good of society.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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