The Kalike library initiative not only sets up libraries in dedicated spaces in schools, but has also encouraged students to collect books and set up home libraries of their own. In an effort to inculcate a love for reading and books, this initiative was received with enthusiasm, and many students are well on their way to establishing their own little libraries.
Rahul Gobry, a resident of Vishweshnagar and a student of Grade VIII, runs a home library with his own small collection of books. An avid reader himself, Rahul began collecting books a year ago and now has a range that includes volumes on the Bhagvad Gita, folk songs, proverbs, general knowledge and story books in both Kannada and English. His own favourite, he says, is the Ramayana.
About 10 or 15 students from his neighbourhood come to his library and Rahul maintains a register with the names and dates of those who have borrowed books. He also conducts library activities, just as he was encouraged to by the Kalike library initiative. He and his friends put up plays, have drawing competitions, and sometimes just read together on the terrace. Often, even if Rahul is not home, the members of his library converge at his house and continue with their activities.
“Having the library definitely helps me in my studies,” says Rahul. “When I have school project work, I refer to the books in my library and use them as resources.”
Seeing Rahul’s growing library, seven or eight of his friends have begun developing home libraries of their own. Rahul’s father has also shown interest in learning how to read the many books that his son has collected.
“Through the library, not only do I learn from books, but others also learn from them,” says Rahul, who is determined to keep adding to his collection and dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer.