Panaji: “Read India concept is the need of the hour and it should be carried forward in the same fashion as Clean India and Make in India. I shall be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this concept which Goa will be implementing with the help of Prudent Media and Read India, to take to the national level,” stated Chief Minister Pramod Sawant while launching Read India Celebration 2022 in Panaji on Friday.
Pointing out that Goa has a rich literary history which cannot be wiped out, from Sant Sohirobanath to Bakibab Borkar to today’s Jnanpith puraskar winner author Damodar Mauzo, Sawant stated, “Goa has a long list of writers and the concept of library existed here even 100 years ago. Some institutions have nurtured the reading culture for centuries in this land and we should be proud of our socio-cultural heritage.”
“Books and reading are not new to Goa and Goans, and we only have to revive the reading culture in the new generation one more time, as today’s youth are more fascinated with the internet, computers and i-Pads. Reading is important and must be carried forward just like other missions that the Prime Minister initiated,” stated the CM.
Read India Celebration 2022 was launched in the presence of hundreds of teachers, Read India founder Raghuram, Shailesh Zingade and chief editor of Prudent Media Pramod Acharya.
The project will be jointly taken forward by Prudent Media along with the Department of Education (Goa), Headmasters’ Association and Principals’ Forum along with Read India.
“Read India has come up with a good concept and the small State of Goa could be an ideal place to implement it,” stated veteran Goan writer Damodar Mauzo.
In his keynote address, the Jnanpith awardee author further confessed that he may not be a prolific writer, but he indeed is a voracious reader. Deliberating that though a child begins her learning as soon as she is born, this learning continues as she grows up, said Mauzo.
“Home is the first school and parents, the first teachers. A child learns automatically from the surrounding society. Sometimes school interrupts our natural education. Experts and educationists believe that the right age to go to school is six. But today’s trend is to send the child to pre-primary school at a very tender age. And this pre-primary schooling starts with English nursery rhymes like ‘London bridge is falling...’ which the child or her teacher, both do not relate to. If the initial education is through the mother tongue, the child can pick up easily.”
Schools make us informative and knowledgeable, but reading makes us wise; it imbibes into us ethics and moral values. Reading helps us to implement our knowledge in life. Going to school is necessary but education should complement reading so that we churn out good human beings, said Mauzo.
Though India is a hub of knowledge and education, the habit of reading books has been decreasing now, especially among the younger generation. Just five minutes of reading will transform India in the next five years, believed Raghuram Ananthoj, founder of Read India, as he initiated the concept of inculcating the reading habit among the children, youth and women so that the country becomes a powerhouse of knowledge.
Stating that India has the lowest percentage of reading habit when it comes to reading books in non-academic category which is a huge concern, Raghuram appealed to the teachers to not only read but inspire students to read.
“Every successful person is a reader and a thinker. Reading is the gateway to knowledge. It opens up the mind. Reading diverse books helps us understand diversity. India is the most diverse country in the world and is a world in itself. Diversity is our biggest strength provided we understand the value of diversity, otherwise, it becomes a problem. Read India Celebration is a movement to revive the reading habit in India and we want to put special emphasis on regional languages as well with global languages. We want a mix of these,” stressed Raghuram.
He further stated that if all the states in the country offer the portfolio of education to their chief ministers, India would progress within no time.
“Our existence and our identity are through knowledge. The tradition of knowledge is the heritage of India. We have given so much to the world and we would still do so if we enrich our knowledge through reading,” said Raghuram.
In the information era, knowledge plays a huge role. Travelling from information to knowledge is a journey. There is a difference between information and knowledge. Unless the information is put to use, put into action, knowledge and learning do not happen, deliberated Raghuram.
Pramod Acharya, chief editor of Prudent Media appreciated the contribution of teachers who took up the challenge of coming out of their homes to the studio to record their lessons so that students can learn from their homes during the pandemic.
Endorsing the importance of the concept of reading, Acharya highlighted taking it further to the entire State.
“Read India has modules and they have already reached out to more than 25 states across India. The onus of taking the mission forward in Goa lies upon us, with the support of the education department, headmasters and teachers,” said Acharya.
“Today we are in an era where we can read literature as well as listen to or watch literature. While not completely stopping the watching, we should focus more on reading than viewing the screen and we all should contribute our bit to introduce the concept of reading to schools in Goa,” stated Acharya.
He further pointed out that the concept of Read India is very simple and children are already following it.
“The onus now lies on us to take it to every child in every school through different modes."
Stating that in the new education policy, the role of the teacher is very crucial, Shailesh Zingade, Director of the Department of Education deliberated, “The teachers as facilitators, have been working day and night, especially during the pandemic time, and now with ‘Read India’ mission, they are assigned another responsibility of making students read. Such a movement was the need of the hour and the department will offer all support to take it forward. Strike a good balance between reading and watching. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body, so start reading mindfully.”
The event was compered by Rohit Prabhudesai of Prudent Media and the vote of thanks was proposed by Kishor Naik Gaonkar, editor, Goan Varta Live.
This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan.