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WhatsApp Library Comes to the Rescue of Bibliophiles Affected by the Pandemic | India News


Whenever 13-year-old Pooja Kumari found some time, she would escape to the community library in Delhi’s Sikandarpur with her younger sister. She had an arrangement. They would choose a book, sit down, and the librarian would read to them. In March, like everything else, the library closed because of the pandemic. The school was also closed. The voracious reader lost her quiet refuge.
That’s when the Community Library Project (TCLP), a non-profit organization that manages four libraries in Delhi-NCR, launched a WhatsApp library. Duniya Sabki.

WhatsApp Library Comes to the Rescue of Bibliophiles Affected by the Pandemic | India News

Morning and Evening Posts on Duniya Sabki

It’s a simple idea: volunteers and community members read books and stories aloud in short videos or audio clips, which are sent by WhatsApp three times a week. Currently, Duniya Sabki has 900 member households.
“Many parents were concerned about what the children would do with the free time they had. Much depended on his access to a library. Our library was an answer to that, ”said author Mridula Koshy, who launched TCLP. So far, the digital library has curated 500 books and stories in Hindi. Content is open source – feminist stories by Kamala Bhasin, revolutionary poems by Pash – or curated – ‘Ismat Ki Eid’ published by Tulika Books or ‘Jui Mausi Ki Beti’ by Madhuri Purandare. It has also been posting reliable information on general topics like health, Covid-19, and college admissions.
“Since members who have limited access to the internet and devices access the library online, we make sure the files are light and the videos short,” said Zoya Chadha, Reading Specialist and Project Coordinator, Duniya Sabki. And the problems they raise resonate with their children. “They tell us through text messages or on Facebook. They also send requests for books and stories they want to hear. ”

WhatsApp Library Comes to the Rescue of Bibliophiles Affected by the Pandemic | India News

Video of a TCLP member reading a book

The library will soon upload a series of videos about the Constitution. “At a time when people reject and say to change the Constitution, it is a great opportunity to find out what it really is. Instead of sleepwalking in the citizenship debate, for example, people should come together, ”Koshy said. TCLP will also host a Free Library Festival on the 19th and 20th of this month to celebrate the work they have done and raise funds. There will be workshops for children, readings and a charity auction.
Pooja, meanwhile, is happy that she doesn’t have to give up her passion. “I look forward to the posts. My sister and I listened to the recordings together. As in the royal library. ”

Times of India