It began as a modest journey from a government school at New Delhi’s ITO. This 25-year-old author, poet and a social activist, is heading the Delhi chapter of hosting libraries in government and slum schools as the city head.
Meet Nitin Soni, a Delhi-based author who is playing an active role in the Kalam Library Initiative that is helping make books accessible to underprivileged children and grooming them for a better future.
“Dr Kalam wanted every child to be educated and have access to books. The library is the first step towards his vision. It will be followed by a series of workshops focussing on the career aspirations of the children,” he says. In the coming months, more libraries will be set up and a volunteering programme will be started where students from Delhi University will teach these children as part of their internship as well as volunteering programme.
At every workshop, children read books and also interact with professionals from myriad fields such as writers, actors, doctors, artists and the like. “Every kid wants to become something. Through these workshops, children will be able to catch a glimpse of what these professions are like,” he says. The workshops take place in Delhi, Gujarat, Calcutta and Coimbatore as of now but are slated to be expanded to other locations soon. “Delhi is one of the most crucial chapters. In the coming months, more libraries will be set up,” he says.
Nitin’s association with the Kalam Initiative comes with Srijan Pal Singh who was Advisor to India’s Missle Man and co-authored three books with him. “Singh was with Dr Kalam since the past seven or eight years. He was next to Kalam when he died in Shillong. He wanted to pay a befitting tribute to the visionary through this initiative,” he says.
The author feels the best way to enlighten a young mind is by opening the doors of libraries for them. “I am a government school pass out and faced problems in adjusting with private school students while pursuing English Literature. Therefore, we should groom these underprivileged students so that they do not face any such issues,” said he.
Nitin has also published a collection of poems called The Broken Boat and short stories as well and is planning to release a novel soon. He even penned a song with Singh titled ‘The Kalam Anthem’. “Kalam believed that everyone should return what they have got from the society. I am following his path,” said he.
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