Lakshmi Subramanian volunteers her time and expertise as a teacher in a tribal hostel in rural Tamil Nadu. When she spotted another Donate-a-Book campaign on a friend's Facebook wall, she got curious about the initiative. After setting up a campaign page and a long phone call with the Donate-a-Book team to understand the requirements, Lakshmi was all set to get the girls in the tribal hostel their own library. She shared a short note about her experience on Donate-a-Book and some lovely pictures which will instantly make anyone's day.
I am a volunteer teacher for girls at the Tribal residential hostel in Anaikatti village in Coimbatore Dist of Tamil Nadu. The children come from tribal villages in and around the hills of the Western Ghats. They live in the hostel during the school term and attend the Government School next door. Many of these girls belong to the Irula tribes of the Nilgiris Hills. If this hostel was not available, they would have no access to even basic education.
We have set up a small library, arranging the books according to the levels. The children are encouraged to borrow these books and we started a reading programme too. The children are paired and they read to one another, and we volunteers help them out with words they do not understand. We have also provided dictionaries, to get them into the method of finding out the meaning of words they do not know. On weekends, we read out stories to them and also ask them to describe in their own words what they understood.
The children were very excited, they found the books colourful and the language simple and relatable. Most of them were keen to know if it would be available always for them and if they could read it anytime!
It was a totally new experience. I was totally amazed at the reaction and willingness to participate from all the donors. What I liked best about donate-a-book was it was very easy to set up our Sitara page and the persons behind this wonderful effort were always ready to oblige. Thank you.
- Lakshmi Subramanian