Read, read and learn- Books For all

An NGO that encourages children from government and aided schools to read and learn.

What do you do to your books or your children’s books when you are tired of reading them and would not want to keep them anymore? This NGO takes all old as well as unused children’s books lying in homes like ours, where children grow up and grow out of the need for all such reading material and convert them into a cheerful library for underprivileged kids. Books For all initially started as a basic library where children could get access to books. But has now become a different platform to unleash the hidden talents of children such as public speaking, arts & crafts, theater, and singing.

This Non-profit is run by Pravin and Kanchan Basin who continue to be the guiding force. Pravin has been a professional manager for about 40 years, worked with top Indian MNC’s. The NGO is based out of Noida, where they believe is a need for a better education system. As many small urban villages in Noida were left behind after a majority of the land was acquired to build houses and complexes. These villages juxtaposed against the well-off urban landscape often struggles to get attention from the administrative authorities. The schools lack the trained manpower and all the facilities. The students in these schools can not even read properly, that is how much these schools lack behind in all the areas to even be able to provide them the basic skill such as reading.

Pravin Bhasin with the Librarians and the kids. Credit- Books For All Facebook Page

Praveen Basin started this initiative when he was about to retire from his job as the Vice President at Reliance Infrastructure. He said that “Since I was retiring from my full-time job, I wanted to give back to the society that is when I came up with the idea. My inspiration for this idea was ‘Room to Read’ by Microsoft and wanted to initiate the same idea in the areas where it was the most needed.” It all started when Praveen visited one of the government schools in Gejha village in Noida when one of the teachers approached him to donate some mats for the children because the floor was cold during winters. Praveen donated some mats to them and thereafter they gave him a room in the school for him to do something innovative to help out the children. That is when he started the interactive library where the children could come, read and also find a reason and interest to come to school.

Praveen always tells his grandchildren how grateful they should be for the food, milk and shelter that they are blessed with because he says, “You would not believe it but on Tuesdays when the school provides milk along with the mid-day meal, the students get containers and bottles from their homes so that they could take it back to make tea and use it for other things back home.” This is the state of these students, says Praveen. Where these kids can not even afford to eat, how will they afford to go to good schools and if they can not go to good schools? How will they read and write?

Credits- Books For all Facebook Page

The foundation was registered on February 2011, and ever since then they have managed to open 6 libraries across Delhi and NCR, five in small urban villages in Noida and one in Sarita Vihar, Madanpur Khadar village. The libraries are not just a platform for the children to come and read books but they also organize fun activities, like spelling bee competitions, interactive English grammar lessons and also try to organize their annual days with the assistance of the school teachers.

Books for all dreams big and they want the home-grown initiative to complement the education system. One of their visions includes setting up library-cum-creativity centers in Government or aided schools all across North India. The Books for All Libraries is setting things right, one step at a time. They have also started installing ‘hanging libraries’ in the schools located in remote villages so that the children could somehow have access to as many books as possible and get into the habit of reading.

What they need-

Even though Books for all needs to be a service-providing NGO, but currently it is a need-based one that aspires to grow fast. So, there are a few things that they still need to make the ends meet.

A central warehouse for sorting, coding and further distribution of all material needed for the school and the children.

2. To build a properly organized collection centers for books in offices and malls in major cities and the transport of all collections to the central warehouse.

3. Last but not the least, they need a bunch of committed and like-minded volunteers who can help them take their mission forward!

Their Core Beliefs for the children, who are encouraged to-

-Believe in Themselves

-Speak their mind without fear

-Dare to dream

-Aspire and think