“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” These words of Peter Pan resonates with you and me but what about the rest of us who don’t have the privilege of reading?
We know how the black and white pages fill our lives with color, but more than 70% of children are unknowingly walking towards a dark future as their options in life are limited and are covered with dismay. They are miles away from the bright light of knowledge. This huge gap between dreams and wisdom deepens as the lives of these children are forgotten in the humdrum of the 21st century.
To bridge this gap, the members of Connecting Dreams Foundation, Shri Ram College of Commerce have undertaken Project Dream Library. The project headed by Anisha Arora, Priya Tekriwal and Uttam Gupta aims to uplift the underprivileged children by providing them with books to make sure that their fundamental right to education is fulfilled. Their aim is to rejuvenate the lives of underprivileged with the beauty of words. After successfully implementing 3 libraries in the areas of Ramesh Park, Shastri Park, and Mayur Vihar and impacting the lives of 500+ children last year, the team had set a higher goal of increasing its impact two-fold.
After extensive research, visits, and analysis, the team zeroed down on 6 schools in the areas of Timarpur, Ghazipur, Gurgaon, Noida, Jasola, and Badarpur. On November 13th and 14th, a team of 60 members established the libraries in all the schools. This day marked a new beginning for these students. Since digitalization is gaining unprecedented importance in the heart of the 21st century, the students did realize that it was necessary to inculcate digital learning amongst these students. Henceforth, they are also diversifying into digital libraries and have started two digital libraries this year as an attempt to keep the children updated with the technological shift happening in the education sector and to also enable them to go hand in hand with the digitized world.
The team also conducted interactive sessions with the children to make them realize the importance of reading books. The idea was not just to set up the libraries but also to ensure that the children read the books and can fulfill their far-fetched dream that is not so far away anymore. The day ended with more than 1500 smiles and creating a difference in the lives of thousands of innocent kids, who had tears of joy rolling down their cheeks.
“Coming to college, we didn’t realize what life would really be about but watching curiosity spark among the kids today, I know what the real meaning of life is. Through the entire process from ideation of the libraries to the implementation, we as a team faced numerous ups and downs but we got through every single obstacle by just holding on to each other. This implementation today had brought me more happiness than even getting into SRCC did.” says a member from the junior team.
The student-run body will ensure that the children make use of the books regularly by having weekly storytelling and book reading sessions. This will help them to remain engaged with the children and to guide them throughout.
The books that longed to be opened and now being taken off the shelves, the pages that longed to be turned are finally being bookmarked, the words that longed to be read are finally being underlined and the children who used to dream are now living their dreams.