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Team sets up libraries in TN’s tribal areas

Twenty years ago, former President, late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam came up with a document that articulated India’s vision for 2020.

Team sets up libraries in TN’s tribal areas


One of his dreams was total literacy in the country. Inspired by his words, five working professionals from Chennai have come together and started a social movement called Dulkal. Through this, the team is setting up libraries in government schools located in remote areas and tribal communities. The team coordinator of Dulkal, Karthikeyan Panchanathan tells DT Next, “The term ‘Dulkal’ is coined from the name, Abdul Kalam. Our former President was a great visionary and a huge inspiration for youngsters.

 We work with various NGOs and children’s education and upliftment were always our top priorities. A few months ago, we came together and started this initiative called Dulkal. So far, we have set up two libraries — in Vengalathur, Tiruvannamalai and Anaiyeri, Villupuram. We aim to enrich children’s lives through books. Not just setting up physical libraries, we are also focusing on the holistic development of children.” The team has collected a huge number of books from different genres including, science fiction, classic tales, historical stories, biographies, folk stories and moral stories.

 The other four members in the team are Leela Raj, Emily Rose, Marian Brito and Amritha Prem. Because of the lockdown and other restrictions, team Dulkal has now limited their activities.

 “Because of the pandemic, children in villages are unable to attend classes and many are dropping out of school. Government school teachers and volunteers in those villages got in touch with us asking if we can help them. We decided to send them books and started a campaign called Gift a Book, Enrich a Life. The teachers or volunteers either visit the students at their houses and handover the books or gather all the students at a common point and distribute books. Sometimes, they all sit together and read books and have fun. We have reached out to 2,000 plus students in 40 villages in the state,” he adds.

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