“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks”

4

Years of Field Experience

300

Children Reached

1403

Books in Collection

What is Roshan

Roshan is a library programme for children, awakening in them the joy of reading. Set up in June 2016 as a community-based and a mobile library and through a library-in-school model launched in September 2017, we strive to take books and stories to as many children as possible in Narayan Nagar, Ghatkopar West. Through quiet reading, story telling sessions and book-based activities and events, Roshan encourages children to develop a love for language and a companionship with books.

Community-based Library

Before and after school, children flock to the library to encounter new ideas and enter new worlds through captivating books. In this safe, intellectually stimulating space, children are provided with opportunities to experience a variety of media and forge friendships bound by a love for books.

Mobile Library

Open, available community spaces turn temporarily into a library when children gather excitedly to welcome their Didis carrying crates filled with books. The children pore over the books and through story telling sessions and creative activities conducted by the library educators, books and reading steadily become an integral part of the lives.

Our Journey

Roshan Library began its innings in 2013, in the most unlikely of spaces: a room next to a butcher’s shop in a slum rehabilitation community in Goregaon. Over a period of three years, setting up a welcoming library with attractive books, conducting book-based activities, and carrying out outreach activities succeeded in the community understanding the purpose of a library as well as recognising the value books brought to the lives of their children. The day a few parents removed prized objects from their sole showcase and replaced them with books, we dared to believe that we had carved a special space for books in their hearts.

In 2016, when Sahyog took a tough decision to exit the Goregaon community, we left knowing that the children coming to Roshan had built a strong and joyful relationship with books and reading was much more than an academic chore.

The work of Bookworm Trust in Goa has inspired us to expand the scope of our work in Ghatkopar by starting a mobile library and planning the library-in-school model.  The Roshan Library programme has taken root and is growing steadily.

Our Team

The Roshan Library programme was spearheaded by a cohort of Umang alumnae who having undergone Sahyog’s women empowerment programmes were passionate about fostering change in their own community. Through the Umang programme these young women discovered their potential and now felt a responsibility to give back in some way. Their strong desire to spark change resulted in the setting up of the Roshan Library programme. Our librarians, whose own childhoods were devoid of the magic of books, are leaving no stone unturned to make them central in the lives of children. Organisations like Hippocampus Foundation, Katha, Kahani Tree and Bookworm have shown them the way.

What we do

Story Read-Alouds

Every day the librarians read out their favourite stories to the children. The stories cut across a multitude of themes and genres and there is something for everyone. The librarians select stories that will be enioyed by the children and encourage them to think, question, and comment.

Pre-Story Activities

Before a story telling session, activities are conducted to arouse curiosity about the story. Through these activities, the children get introduced to words and ideas that will appear in the story.

Post-Story Activities

Read-alouds are followed by post-story activities to deepen children’s understanding about and appreciation of the story. These activities enable children to connect the text to themselves and the world around them. Through these activities contemporary local and global issues are discussed and debated.

Free Reading Session

Children are encouraged to read books independently. The open access library allows children to select any book that calls out to them. The opportunity to choose their own books gives children the confidence to take a decision. Once children read a book they discuss it with a library educator. This is how children are socialized to the act of reading.

Borrowing and Lending

Books are meant to be enjoyed by all and so children are encouraged to borrow books from the library and take them home. The trust placed in a child to care for the book and return it builds a strong bond between the child, the book and the library. A book that goes home touches many more lives.

Events and Interactions

Different events and interactions are held in the library at regular intervals. These events allow children to interact with people from different walks of life and learn from experts in fields they have never even heard off. These events expose children to a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities.

Inclusive Camps

Inclusive camps provide opportunities for typically developing children and children with disabilities to interact and engage with each other. Working and playing together allows all children to better understand each other, look beyond differences and focus on what matters.

Summer Camps

These camps through their wide range of activities and experiences expose children to new ideas, experiences and innovative ways of learning. Summer camps enrich the lives of the children and cater to the varied developmental needs of children.

Field Trips

Visits to cultural, educational and recreational places offer children an opportunity to explore the world beyond their community and ignite their curiosity.

Why we do it

Children in underprivileged communities are bereft of safe spaces that nurture their development. Through the library we strive to increase children’s access to books and inculcate a love for books and foster lifelong readers and thinkers. Through the library we wish to immerse children in language and a tradition of creative problem solving and decision making that will empower them to become educated and responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Volunteer with us

Volunteers are integral to creating a vibrant Library. Your unique skills, attitudes and perspectives open up a whole new world of thoughts and possibilities for our children. Diverse life experiences and understanding make the library truly dynamic and multiple views find a voice.

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