by Deepa Garimella
Spreading the joy of reading among first-generation learners
In a world that is increasingly mourning the decline of the reading habit in children, a group of responsible, pragmatic, committed and visionary citizens is changing the way little minds are shaped in India’s government schools.
These are schools, mind you, that have none of the modern accessories and technological tools that private schools have; these are schools where the teachers aren’t in enough numbers, the paint on the walls is chipping away, and the toilets mostly are clogged and in many cases absent. And these are children who do not have the luxuries of an air-conditioned library stocked with the Encyclopaedia Britannica, leave alone access to hi-tech learning aids like iPads and PCs.
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How it all began
BREAD Society is a voluntary organisation whose mission is to lay the foundation for a knowledge society in the next generation, with a special compassion for poor children, especially children who study in government schools.
The scale at which the Society operates is impressive. BREAD Society has touched 1 million lives ever since its inception, in the form of students, teachers and parents, through various interesting initiatives. To run such a mammoth operation, you need a combination of strong leaders, robust systems, a talented team, and, most of all, the spirit of selfless service. As for technology, the Society has a sophisticated database system (built by their own team members) that helps them keep a record of every single beneficiary, donor and activity, and also retrieve information when necessary – indeed, transparency is a way of life with the team.