Allcargo Group, the Indian-born global logistics conglomeraterecently organised a School Library Programme in the Zilla Parishad schools at Bhendkhal and Uran, Maharashtra in association with the Zilla Parishad of Raigad. As part of the initiative, Allcargo Group is providing more than 6,000 books, benefiting 1,417 students in 12 Zilla Parishad schools. The programme is aimed at inculcating reading habits among students, encouraging them to read books and gain knowledge.
The group Founder and Chairman Shashi Kiran Shetty’s vision of promoting education as a cornerstone for nation-building and fostering a solid foundation for the future is behind this notable initiative.
With easy access to digital handheld entertainment, students often end up shunning the joys of reading. “We aim to re-inculcate the reading habit in children by filling their school libraries with books handpicked by expert librarians. The repertoire includes books and comics on general knowledge, history, and Indian mythology in Marathi, Hindi, and English,” said Nilratan Shende, CSR Head of Allcargo Logistics.
The welcome initiative comes in the backdrop of some startling research findings with the existing popular trends involving smartphone use by children. A recent study published in JAMA Paediatrics revealed that since the pandemic, screen time among children has gone up by 52 percent, globally. The study found that children who were exposed to an average of two hours of screen time a day performed worse on attention and executive function tests at the age of nine. According to a recent study by Indian-origin professors at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as mobile-phone access becomes widespread in India, children are spending up to three-four hours daily on screens, exceeding the recommended screen time limit of 60 minutes a day, or about 420 minutes a week, set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In order to reduce screen time and promote healthy reading habits, parents and educators may encourage children to read more books. Reading books also promotes literacy, improves cognitive skills and boosts creativity.
The programme has helped enrich teaching and learning programmes, support inquiry-driven learning, literacy and reading. It has also aided improving the schools’ value amid the community and has made students understand the importance of information and literacy.