Camels take books to children in the desert

A mobile library on back of a camel was flagged off on August 15 by NGO Room to Read in partnership with Jodhpur district administration in Rajasthan

Camels take books to children in the desert
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Sanjukta Basu

A mobile library on the back of a camel was flagged off on August 15 by international NGO Room to Read in partnership with Jodhpur district administration in Rajasthan. The unique initiative however comes to an end this week.

“As regular schools remained shut during the lockdown, children’s reading habits have suffered. They are spending all their time on video games,” says Prem Chand Sakhla, Joint director, school education, Jodhpur.

The camel cart library starts every day from the nearest primary school where the NGO has set up libraries. Announcements are made on loudspeakers inviting children, parents, village elders etc to see the books and read. As a crowd gathers, rugs are spread out on the sand while a storyteller from the NGO conducts a book reading session.


“We have been running library programmes in government schools in several states including Delhi, MP, UP, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Maharashtra. Our aim is to develop reading habits and skills among children so that they become independent readers. In Jodhpur alone we have set up 383 libraries in government schools,” said Jitendra Singh, Senior Programme Associate, Room to Read.

“We also train primary teachers so that they can improve children’s reading skills. The idea is that children not only read words and letters but also understand and retell what they read,” he added.

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