Millennium Post

V-Day gift: Rekindling the love for reading

V-Day gift: Rekindling the love for reading
This Valentine’s Day Prime Minister Narendra Modi has found a novel way to keep the youth engaged in activities that would not incur the wrath of the Sangh Parivar. The Modi government is going to launch a programme aimed at inculcating the reading habit among children on February 14, the day celebrated as Valentine’s Day across the globe, simultaneously with the opening of New Delhi World Book Fair in the national capital.

The programme, a brainchild of the Prime Minister, has been christened Read India, will be launched on the lines of Vanche Gujarat campaign, which has proved a runaway success in the state. The Vanche Gujarat campaign was inspired by a  successful pilot project executed by engineer-turned book lover Mahadev R Desai in Gujarat’s Navsari.

“Given the fact that the book reading habit is disappearing , the Read India campaign may help in reviving it”, an HRD official said, adding that the NDA government had made a move to emulate the Vanche Gujarat campaign just two months after government formation on May 26. According to a document available with Millennium Post, a meeting of senior HRD officials was held on July 7 last and the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) was tasked to prepare its policy, while National Book Trust (NBT) was directed to work on book promotion. Notably, the public publisher has prepared a concept note on a campaign aimed at promoting the reading habit among the youth.

The sources said that HRD minister Smriti Irani would supervise the mega event. A detailed programme has also been drawn up for book promotion and enhancing reading habits such as base reading completion in which five books would be provided to readers to finish in a stipulated time.

As part of the project, 35 new libraries would be opened in the states while in 35 districts model libraries would be set up. The plan is to connect 629 district libraries in the network. To make this mega event a big hit, the Digital Library of India has digitised 5 lakh books.

Study centres are expected to come up in villages adopted by parliamentarians under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana. The Read India drive aims to inspire 400 million school and college students to get back to reading.
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