Ardhra Nair,  October 09 , 2017

Source: The Times of India

Pune : The sheer resolve to bring change in students he taught at Gundewadi near Jalna district led Santosh Musle to start a library in the zilla parishad school.

From 200 books in June when he started to 1,000 books currently in the school library , Musle has come a long way . His target is 5,000 books for the 150-odd kids studying in the school.

Musle teaches students from standards V to VII. “Since the last two-three years, I have seen that students don’t read. With the penetration of cellphones, children use their free time to play games,“ he said.

He began realizing the importance of books after he took them home.“My six-year-old daughter started taking interest in the comic books I had brought. This made me think about how other kids can be brought back to books if they had access to it.“

Musle started collecting books in June. “We have seven rooms and six teachers in our school. So the extra room is used to keep books. I put up my idea to build a library in various social media platforms and sought donations. Soon, donations poured in and we have 1,000 books of which 50 are in English,“ he said.

Since kids in villages live close to nature, they love short stories which have names of birds and animals, and stories about environment.They love comics too, Musle said, who has been a teacher for 12 years.“There has been improvement in their grammar and parents are happy they are reading. This is leading them to be creative as they are coming up with stories on different characters,“ he added.

Sometimes, making reading compulsory yields results. “I have realized that if we give students good books, they will start liking it. Sometimes, we need to give them books to read. Once they find it interesting, they will come back for more,“ he said.