Last year was the first time that the team from Swechha
got in touch with us and expressed an interest in our annual Literacy Day campaign. Earlier this year, Josh Roberts who used to work with Swechha told us about what happened in the next few months after they conducted that event.
In Josh’s words …
Pagdandi is our non-formal alternative learning program for kids and adolescents of Jagdamba Camp slum community in South Delhi. It started as a library in the community, Kitaab Ghar, with reading and story-telling sessions conducted everyday. This has now grown to a community-based initiative that focuses on education, empowerment and employability.
Kitaab Ghar continues to be a space for children and youth to study, read and learn in. On the 7th of September, we held our first reading day at Kitaab Ghar. The day was a huge success, reaching out to over 90 children and women, all of whom read in Hindi and English. We decided to repeat the magic of International Literacy Day by institutionalizing “Pagdandi Day” as a day of reading in the community on the 3rd Saturday of every month. On this day, reading sessions happen in the Kitaab Ghar and outside. While volunteers conduct reading sessions, based on a theme, for age-specific groups through the day, staff and volunteers distribute books to households and read out stories to adults and children in the narrow lanes of the community. The day aims to create a buzz around reading and celebrate reading anywhere and everywhere. With every month, our outreach is increasing with more and more children and adults being encouraged to read through the day. This month (February), 125 people read and listened to stories through the day while 60 books were distributed to households.
A big thank you to the Swechha and Pagdandi team for taking giant leaps to spread the joy of reading!