Under ‘Project Paper Bridge’ we plan to open a total of 1,000 libraries, with focus on 100 in North East India by December, 2020. Apart from setting up new libraries, we also tie-up with existing, underutilized libraries and rejuvenate them. The locations of the libraries cater to geographically and culturally isolated communities.
Number of functioning libraries as of October 2018 are 15. (1 in Himachal, 1 in Haryana, 1 in Odisha, 3 in Sikkim, 2 in Arunachal, and 7 in Nagaland)
In the next 28 months i.e. till December 2020, we aim to open 88 more libraries in North-Eastern India. Along with these, additional libraries will come up in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttarakhand.
Through these libraries we aim to promote
· culture of reading
· capacity building
· digital literacy
· awareness for various government schemes
· empower women and youth
· career counseling
· cultural exchange program.
We believe that libraries are not an expendable resource but do need to evolve with time and specific requirements of the society. To this end, we first need to provide books and journals that target the specific community and their emerging demands.
The books for our libraries are mostly crowdsourced. We conduct regular book donation drives in Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata. When we conduct books collection drives, we also encourage people who are donating books to write a message on it for the people who will be reading these books. We also plan to increase interaction and engagement between people living in far flung, remote area and those residing in metro cities.
Project Paper Bridge has the potential to create a more tolerant society where the prejudices and stereotypes towards geographically and culturally secluded communities are significantly reduced. It will also help in changing the state of education in this country.
To make the project more effective, we have tied-up with State Legal Services Authorities of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh repectively. We are now looking for consistent financial assistance to scale up the project.
The project is surviving completely on crowd funding and if we have to revive libraries and the culture of reading all across India, we will have to join hands.
Our next target is to open libraries in Kashmir and Meghalaya.
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