Arunachal Pradesh Joy of Reading Festival organized

Programmes in the North East

The “Joy of Reading Festival”, Roing, Arunachal Pradesh organized from November 4-8, 2019 by the Lower Dibang Valley District Administration of Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti and the ICDS Department as part of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi saw a huge response from the participants, both young and old. It was inaugurated on November 4, 2019 by eminent educationist and ‘grandmother of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in India', Prof Vimala Ramachandran.
The weeklong festival which highlighted the themes ‘Joy of Reading’ and ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ included lectures and interactions by Prof Vimala Ramachandran and eminent Gandhian scholar from Assam, Dr Alaka Sarma as well as a range of book activities, contests and book exhibitions. On special display was the Mahatma Gandhi’s biography in five Arunachal languages Adi, Apatani, Mishmi, Nyishi and Nocte by Tulika Books.
The weeklong festival concluded on November 8, 2019, leaving behind warm and rich memories for book lovers of all age groups.
Speaking at INV Roing, Prof Vimala Ramachandran shared her vast experiences of educational innovations arross India and South East Asia, and elaborated on the little known GOI document on “Positive Discipline’, which is today adopted by many reputed schools. At KGBV Dambuk, she outlined the origin of KGBV schools in India.
Describing the sterling contribution of the Mahila Shiksha Kendras in 1980s and 90s to help the rural adolescent girls of north and central India to break free from the fetters of illiteracy, stagnant traditions and unjust customs, she explained how KGBV is not just a school, but a model of total education for marginalised deprived adolescent girls. Addressing women activists, SHG members and ICDS personnel, Prof Ramachandran exhorted the anganwadi workers and SHG members to imbibe reading habits to acquire latest ideas in early childhood education, and help mould a new generation of a learmng society in Arunachal. She also appealed to the officers of the state Government to proactively contribute their energies to bring social and educational advancement of the rural Arunachali women.
Enchanting the audience with her deeply touching anecdotes and personal experiences, Dr Alaka Sarma, who is the Hon. Director of International Centre of Gandhian Studies, Shillong, brought out how Gandhiji’s life and message is so relevant and useful to all of us even in 21‘ century. She reminded the audience that Gandhiji is not just a national or political leader, but was a man of action, who strove to uphold truth in everyday life, however unpleasant it could be for some.
His philosophy was to transform the Indian society and help life become meaningful to even the poorest of the poor. Addressing packed audiences of senior students and teachers of Roing schools, she answered several questions on Gandhian philosophy and how it can enrich a young Indian’s life. Prof Alaka Sarma also held an interaction session with the weavers of Roing town at the District Craft Centre.
The event also included various Art and Literary competitions among School Children like Elocution, Essay Writing, Poster making ,story-telling and Skit competitions on topics such as “What is my Understanding of Peace”; How can I Practice non-violence in my daily Life”; “Different elements of non- violent communication”, etc., respectively.
The Joy of Reading Festival brought ample opportunities to the people of Roing, Korunu, Jia, Bolung and Dambuk town to partake a feast of books through a 5 day Mobile book Exhibition supported by Ashok Leyland, Guwahati, side by side with a permanent exhibition in Roing town. The festival also saw the return of an (National Book Trust) NBT Book Exhibition to Dibang Valley, after nearly two decades, along with other reputed publishers. The book exhibition was managed by the Lohit Youth Library Network, with volunteers from Dibang Youth Library, VKV Roing, Intaya Public School and Scouts & Guides of the district education dept.