SLF: Empowering Rural Kids through Libraries

Archana Nair
Published on: 8th March 2015
"If we do not plant knowledge when young, It will give us no shade when we are old” is a profound quote by Lord Chesterfield. Being a reflection of this idea, Small Library Foundation (SLF), an NGO operating from Hyderabad, focuses on issues of education, environment, and social development of children belonging to rural parts of India.

SLF started its operations in 2009 by donating books to kids in underprivileged region. It began with a mission to promote the habit of reading, and develop an appreciation for reading among rural kids. This would help them to enhance their vision and elevate their thoughtprocess. In 2011, SLF started building libraries on request from other organisations as well as individuals in their respective locations. This was done by collecting books from people who were interested in donating and funded by SLF itself.

Akiraa PS, an engineering graduate and Founder of SLF says, “In 2011, someone came to us and asked whether we could build libraries in their village. We took the project and built it with our money and books were collected from donors. But now, we have planned strategically and aim to establish community libraries wherever needed.”
 SLF: Empowering Rural Kids through Libraries
He adds, “In my entrepreneurial journey, I met a lot of people who have shown interest in SLF. Taking help from NGOs working abroad, we are going to create better libraries for kids in village schools. We are raising funds as well for accomplishing it.”

There is huge participation from international communities and individuals in SLF’s book donation campaigns which are conducted frequently. Akiraa says, “We connect to individuals and organisations abroad in social media. We help each other by exchange of programs. I must say thanks to social media and World Youth Organization for widening our reach. We get books and support from countries like USA, UAE, Jordan, Armenia, Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore to name a few.”

Moreover, SLF makes sure that the libraries are well maintained to work as stimulator for creating awareness, individual enlightenment, and community enrichment.
SLF also conducts activities to teach kids to communicate in English apart from their local language. “On a broader sense”, says Akiraa, “Small Library Foundation fosters educational development by promoting the habit of reading and creating awareness about the importance of learning English as a universal language among underprivileged children in rural areas across India. We aim to empower children by giving them a platform to become highly successful individuals through better understanding of the language and by improving their communication skills.”

SLF recently started a new social project called, “School for Innovation” to educate kids in computer programming and app design.
On a scale of 1-10, how inspiring did you find this article?