Project Title: Paanpoee Vachanalay
Location: Pune, Maharashtra
Partner Since: 2013
In 2003, we began to work with the Vanasthali Rural Development Center. Paanpoee is a mobile library project that began with the simple goal of giving children in rural areas the opportunity to read more books. Things snowballed from there, and soon a mobile library project was born! They have been operational since 1981 and have schools in 8 rural districts. We wanted to distribute books to centers of these regions and distribute the books with wonderful characters, pictures and maps to children between 3 and 6 years old to stir their imagination.
From the Center, up to 50 books are packed into canvas bags, and transported on bicycles to monthly meetings or training camps. By watching a child holding a book for the first time, or hearing a student describe how new doors that have been opened for her, you will understand what motivates us.
Partnerships are established with booksellers who provide PaanPoee Vachanalay with educational and entertaining books that are teacher-approved. Then, plenty of volunteers and teachers work together for book distribution, and in some cases, mini library establishments at different schools. The highlight of these operations? The glowing book reports children write after reading every book.
Home of Hope Funding Focus:
- Home of Hope has supplied PaanPoee with a transportation van to deliver these books to a center, where the teachers fill their canvas bags with 40 to 50 books and deliver them to the families on their bikes
- Also, there are two locations where the Mobile Library carries books and educational toys - currently, one is in Baramati where 57 schools are being worked with, reaching between 80 children each day, and the other is in Somatne, where there are 40 villages, serving 4,000 children
- An example is how the well-organized this is, the Jejuri School, who has classes taught by Government approved teachers, has strong support from the parents, and they also are accessing books by Paanpoee program
- Another example are the 15 'Ashram Schools', set up for the children of migrant workers. There are 54 teachers working with 1,448 students, and the PaanPoee books are taken directly to them
From the administrative point, HOH has helped VRDC appoint a part-time office assistant, to help with:
- accounting: follow-up with centers and maintaining status reports; an assistant has been hired to work with shops and publishers directly for more books, mailing to villages and delivering to outlying centers
- taking on 2 more members of the team at the office who will work closely with people in villages and sub-centers; equip the organization with material to send to small villages outside of the area they are working in now; and add another 'Mobile Library'.