By Abhinaya V Sharma
The MADgalore Libraries are finally here and what an arrival it has been! The relentless effort and energy spent by the volunteers, the enthusiasm of the children and the support provided by the centre authorities finally paid off. The stage was lit, the balustrades decorated when the curtains finally came down!
The Completed Library At CARDTS
Setting up of the libraries was a structured process. To impress the importance of this fact, Medha and I were sent to Bangalore to get trained under the Hippocampus Reading Foundation’s GBR (GROWBY) Program. The training helped us understand the minute aspects in setting up the libraries and we were, therefore, quite thankful.
On our return to Mangalore, we conducted a training session for the Library volunteers, who were quite keen to understand the responsibilities that would come their way as the ‘MAD Librarians’. The Growth Chart provided by the Hippocampus under the Library kit became an instant hit.
Overall, the volunteers were all set to surge ahead!
The levelling (categorising based on reading skill) of children was conducted on the days between the 17th and the 20th. It was an experience of a kind!
The levelling was done individually for every child. It was fascinating to see how certain girls could interpret peacocks as ‘navilu’ from one of the reading cards with a lot of action! Even though the levelling went on till late in the evenings leaving us exhausted, it felt completely worth it!
Meanwhile there was quite a excitement at the libraries on the setting up of shelves and books. We had some great sponsors and books provided by Bookwallah and publishers like the Tulika.
The books were unanimously liked and appreciated and anyone handling them would be tempted to read them.
Once the training was wrapped up, the volunteers headed to the different MAD centres for the Library Launch that was scheduled at 5 p.m. at all the three centres. So arrived the dignataries, welcome speeches were given, a cute skit was performed at CARDTS, a great thanks-giving speech was given by one of our Ballika girls, Geethanjali , the dignitaries had quite a few kind words for MAD’s – the day was, at the same time overwhelming and inspiring.
20th of November, 2011 – Mark that date! That’s when Mangalore’s libraries were inaugurated for good!
If I could quote Ms. Obama (more or less, this IS the quote. Or at least, what it is supposed to mean) – When work gets a little hard at times and when we wonder where all our efforts will take us, all we need to do is look at the children and replete our energy and purpose. We know we are working for their betterment, which drives us forward with hope in our hearts!