In today’s world, the fun in reading the books is declining. To make the difference, an Odisha couple is making the difference by driving across India to promote reading habit. Satabdi Mishra and Akshay Rautaray, the founder of Walking Book Fairs have quit their jobs and embarked on a journey to make books accessible to everyone in the country. They are on an All-India tour, Read More India – 2015, where they will cover 20 states in 3 months on their mobile library.
This started in Koraput, Odisha where they carried books in backpacks and walked around villages displaying books at public spaces. Their friends helped them in arranging money to buy an old Maruti Omni van and they travelled across Odisha displaying the books in small towns and villages. They started this initiative because people do not read anything beyond text books and there are not enough bookshops or libraries in India. There are shopping malls, car showrooms and restaurants but no libraries. Reading stories from all around the world is the real education we are getting. So it is important for us to read for pleasure.
The biggest challenge for them is that people do not understand the importance of reading other books than textbooks. The parents and teachers also do not buy storybooks for kids. They park the van in one place and open it to the public. People come, browse at the books, read them and also buy them. Every day is a memorable one for them. They meet new people and see new places. But they also feel sad when people start destroying world around them. Reading books might open our heart, mind and soul.
They prefer going to smaller places because they feel everyone should have access to good books and books are for all. Many people offer them food and accommodation due to which they keep going smoothly. Three major publishers support their tour in terms of books- Harper Collins India, Pan MacMillan India and Parragon Books India. They get a warm welcome wherever they go.
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