Tribal children living in Idamalayar get a crowdsourced library through social media
In the age of new media, it is hard not to get branded as an armchair activist. The term and activities associated with it have been gathering flak from all walks of life ever since its launch.Kollam-based Youth Promotion Council, however, has a different tale to tell us.“Through our online campaign titled ‘Kaadinte Makkalkkoru Pusthakalayam’, we have managed to raise over 500 books to help this underprivileged community of children who live in the remote villages of the Western Ghats,” begins Sumanjith Misha, the chairman of the state award winning endeavour, which dates its origins back to the early 2000s.
Brave the mould
Operating out of Kerala State Electricity Board’s buildings in the area, Idamalayar Govt UP School only has 42 pupils under it, who live in the facility during their term. “Most of them attend classes in the hope of getting three meals a day. Owing to treacherous forests paths and threats posed by rogue elephants, it is difficult for them to commute every day,” explains the 30-something, who first visited the facility as part of their travelling art exhibition showcasing the life of Gandhi. Having received immense support through various social media channels, the collective ensured affirmative action through posting images of those who came forward offering books.Although Youth Promotion Council isn’t the first to execute such a project in the state, it is yet another argument in favour of the ‘armchair activists’.Previously several organisations like Cochin Adventure Foundation and personalities including Somy Solomon, a writer turned social worker, have attempted similar endeavours, leading more children to the path of knowledge while at it.