Reading can help broaden one’s thinking. A well-read population will help India excel globally.
With the same spirit, I had started a similar movement by name of VANCHE GUJARAT when I was Chief Minister of the State. It means “Gujarat Reads”. I had visited a public library to motivate people to read. The movement targeted the young generation, in particular. I also requested citizens to think about building a ‘Granth-Mandir’ – a temple of books – in their village. This could be started with 50 or 100 books.
I appealed to people to give a book instead of bouquet as a greeting. Such a move can make a big difference.
From the time of the Upanishads persons with knowledge have been respected through the ages. We are now in the information age. Even today, knowledge is the best guiding light.
I am told that as a pilot project of Digital Libraries, Panicker Foundation is working with 18 public libraries in the state in collaboration with Indian Public Library Movement, New Delhi.
I would like to see such a reading and library movement in the entire country. The movement should not be limited to make people literate. It should try to achieve the real goal of bringing social and economic change. The foundation of good knowledge should be followed by a super-structure of a better society.
I am happy to note that the State Government has announced 19th June as the reading day. Obviously, a lot of effort will converge to make this a popular activity.
The Government of India has also provided support to the activities of the foundation. I am told that about 1.20 crore rupees have been given to the foundation in the last two years.
I am also happy to see that the foundation is now focusing on digital literacy. This is the need of the hour.
I believe in people’s power. It has the capacity to make a better society and nation.
I urge every young person in the audience to take a pledge of reading. And enable everyone to do so.
Together, we can once again make India a land of wisdom and knowledge. Thank You!