Tribune News Service
Amritsar, March 12
Helping some kids and parents by easing out the burden of buying new books for the new academic session, private schools and NGOs in the city are setting up book banks. Promoting the reuse of academic books, by collecting old books from students of exit classes, these book banks are reaching out to the needy students through a network of volunteers.
While the government schools in Punjab had already set up small book banks in premises, private book banks are now coming up with support from NGOs and private-run schools. Guru Tegh Bahadur Public School, Khankot, asked its students to donate their old academic books that are in good condition to school for reuse. More than 25 students have already donated to the school’s book bank and many others are coming with more books. Parminder Kaur, said the initiative will help students from needy families, who cannot afford to buy new books. Similarly, Voice of Amritsar (VOA) had set up one through volunteers a few months back to promote reuse of books. Lot of private schools in city are flowing suit.
“During our childhood, we used to get our school books through this hand-me-down concept. Now, that the books alone punch a big hole in parents’ pockets, creating book banks by collecting old texts, unused notebooks and other stationery material from students for those in need can help many families continue their kids’ education,” said Rakhie Vermani, member of Voice of Amritsar.
The book bank has been set up inside an IELTS centre run by another VOA member Rajwinderpal Sharma opposite Khalsa College. “Students who want to donate their books in good condition come to our office. We also get students who want subject-specific books, like books from medical and non-medical streams that are expensive. They return them after using,” shared Rakhie. Their bank has over 200 books of all subjects from PSEB/CBSE /ICSE boards.
Kora Kagaz Club, established at BBKDAV, is an initiative run by group of student volunteers, who get several schools and colleges to collaborate for the cause, donating notebooks while engaging students of the same school to work voluntarily towards collecting and segregating the discarded notebooks. The stock collected before the end of academic session last year is lying at their office space, ready for distribution as new session begins.
Kajal, one of their volunteers, said: “Our distribution got delayed due to the lockdown, but we are now reviving our network before the new session begins. One of the purposes for promoting recycling and reuse of old school books is that it is a sustainable practice that is also cost-effective.”