MUKTI is a charitable and socio-economic development organization established in 2003 with the sole purpose of improving the social and economic conditions of the less and underprivileged sections of the society. In alignment with its myriad projects, MUKTI held the “Book Bank” project on 15th May, 2010 at Dayapur P.C. Sen High School at Gosaba in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
On this noble occasion, the following personnel were present:
# Debabrata Halder (in charge of the Book Bank, MUKTI)
# Dulal Kumar Mondal (Engineering Professor at Jadavpur University)
# Maloy Mondal (Member of West Bengal Rural Energy and Development Association)
# Blanche Mattern (trainee at MUKTI)
The school is in the remote area of Sunderban and the access to it from metro Kolkata is from Sonakali, which is 3 hours by road (~100km). The route from Sonakali to Gosaba is either 1-2 hours by boat or 1.5 hours by auto rickshaw followed by a small walk to the High School. To give a better perspective of the area Gosaba itself, Gosaba is in the Aila affected zone. It is one of the main delta islands of Sunderban and is surrounded by Matala and Zilli rivers. In fact it is so remote that it is known to be the last habitated island before the Mangrove forest and jungles start. According to the 2001 census, Gosaba community development block comprised of 222,764 people and literally the whole population could be considered as rural.
The main aim for this particular Book Bank Project was to bring in 300 books for 100 students chosen from class VI to class X respectively. This high school was founded by Professor Dulal Kumar Mondal and this gentleman is related to Mr. Debabrata Halder, the main person in charge of the book bank project on behalf of MUKTI. There are 1600 students in this school of which 52% are girls and 48% are boys respectively. To prevent discrimination, the students for the book bank were chosen on the basis of equality among both genders. Professor Mondal and another teacher from the school selected 100 students spread between class VI and X. The underprivileged and bright students with 20 students from each class were the basis of the above selection.
As elaborated in a better fashion through the pictures at the bottom, each student received 3 books and a blue bag for carrying the books. For all the classes except class VI, the students received books one each from English, Bengali and Geography. For class VI, the Geography book was replaced by Life Science as an exception. The blue plastic bag is mostly as a token of appreciation from MUKTI since it has MUKTI’s logo and the details of the program. On this noble day, most of the students received their packet except for the missing 30 students (4 from class VI, 2 from class VII, 4 from class IX and 20 from class X). As can be seen, most of the students were from class X since class X classes do not occur on Saturday, the day when the function took place. Hence, the uncollected books were distributed to the remaining students on the following 2 days.
The program runs with one condition that all the books will be collected at the end of the year to make sure that the books are in good condition for re-use. Most of the books ought to be in good condition and the details of the conditions will be passed on to MUKTI head office in Kolkata and based on the need of that time; more books will be passed onto the school. We sincerely hope that the noble project from MUKTI for the betterment of the lives of the poor students can be carried for time immemorial.