DURING my childhood days in my native Kerala, we had very few options to read. Except for the local library run by the Panchayat, we did not have a bookstall or the shops that existed did not sell magazines those days.
The library was thus our main source to read various newspapers in Malayalam and English. It also received some weeklies that were coming from Russia as part of some government aid to improve bilateral relationship between the countries.
Both the newspapers and these news magazines along with the national and regional radio stations carried and conveyed different views of the bigger world outside our small village.
For little ones like me, to complement those available sources of information, whatever printed material coming into home or reachable places were of golden value. It may include even those old newspapers coming along as wrapping paper, or those newspapers and magazines we get when an outstation guest arrives at home.
He might have purchased it for reading during the long train journey from his work place to our village home. These long train journeys helped all to relax and read and blend with the nature and fellow human beings.
As days passed now, the new generation is flooded with options to update their information banks, mainly electronic sources and paperless. As it brought its advantages, it also came along with its own dangers. Children became addicted to more and more e-games and words and letters reduced from their vocabulary. For those who love to read, books are expensive and rare to get making it all the more difficult.
The Fourth Used Book Festival organised in the UAE by Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services is scheduled to be held in Palm Oasis, Buhaira Corniche on March 1- 4, 2011. This event aims at promoting reading among students, give them an opportunity to acquire books for a small fee and enable them to raise funds for the more vulnerable in our community.
Manzil, a voluntary organisation for challenged individuals is taking part in this Book Festival with a view to create more reading opportunities and awareness among children and adults alike. Noble task indeed.
To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.
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