New Delhi: Over 5 lakh children from 1,500 schools across India participated in special reading sessions as part of a campaign to mark International Literacy Day Thursday. Organized by social enterprise Dharma Life, the Lighting Up Young Minds (LUYM) campaign saw participation by children from 13 states. Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan recorded maximum participation, with turnouts of 2.5 lakh, 1.5 lakh and 64,000 respectively.
The campaign was organized in association with the Signify Foundation and took place simultaneously in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Launched in 2015, the campaign which aims at educating children in rural India, is based on an interactive model in which lessons are imparted through extracurricular activities to improve overall literacy skills of students through guided reading.
“It is greatly encouraging and satisfying to see the large number of children who participated in the campaign this year. The activities are intended to foster a spirit of teamwork, leadership skills, innovative thinking and problem-solving skills among children in rural India,” Gaurav Mehta, founder and CEO of Dharma Life, said.
The campaign was executed by Dharma Life’s network of rural entrepreneurs in their villages and supported by the organisation’s employees, partners and stake holders. The design also includes sports, music, poetry and dance activities that facilitate learning and an all-round development of children. This year, as a follow up to the campaign, Dharma Life is also initiating a new set up — ‘Lighting Libraries’ — in rural schools with support from the Signify Foundation, to help the students study at night as well as to increase awareness and adoption of solar lights.
The project involves providing solar lights to schools in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand that have limited access to energy, to enable students to borrow the lights to study after dark.
“The campaign engages children in a unique way through reading sessions conducted under solar lights. These lights also increase the children’s understanding of clean energy,” Yue Cui of the Signify Foundation said. —PTI