NGOs can take a leaf out of this foundation's book

NGOs can take a leaf out of this foundation's book

Kalisu Foundation, which has so far set up 14 libraries in government schools in Mysuru and Mandya districts, plans to establish at least 100 such libraries in the region in the year 2018.

Recently, the foundation opened its 14th library, funded by Plansee India High Performance, at the Government Higher Primary School in Jayanagar in the city. However, chief executive officer of the foundation M M Nikilesh is confident of hitting a century during the next year, following the overwhelming response he is receiving for his initiative.

"So far, we have been supported by Mysuru-based NR Group, Plansee India High Performance, Global Buzz and Automotive Axels, Bengaluru-based Fanuc, a robotics company, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - VST Diesel Engines, and also Srirangapatna-based Sunpure. But many more corporate companies are approaching us with offers to help students of government schools," he said.

K V Mohana Kumari, in-charge headmistress of the Government Higher Primary School in Jayanagar, said that there are 55 students from first to seventh standard in the school and most of them are from economically backward families. "Most of our students come from Chinnagiri Koppalu, a slum, even though our school is situated in a posh area. Their parents are not well read. So, the library will help them develop the reading habit," she said.

"Earlier, we had around 1,000 books and an almirah to store them. Once in a week, students of each class were allowed to read them. We would also lend the books to the students for a week. However, we did not have an exclusive library. When Kalisu Foundation people approached us, we spared a classroom for the purpose. There was some seepage in the roof during rains. The donors repaired the roof and walls. The room was renovated and painted, complete with art work. It is a pleasant experience for the students to sit and read here now. The children are happy," she said.

Nikilesh said, he co-founded the foundation along with his brother M M Vignesh in 2013 and has been setting up libraries since then. "Each library is a learning experience. There has been a lot of improvisation over the years. A lot of research has gone into the selection of books to suit the children. Squatting on the ground has many benefits, so, we encourage mats for sitting on the ground. Besides, our art works and charts on the walls are also learning tools for the children," he said.

"Scion of the erstwhile royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar is our brand ambassador and he interacts with the children of various government schools periodically. State Cooperation Minister M C Mohana Kumari, who inaugurated the library in Jayanagar also interacted with the children. She read out her poem on straw mat, which is being used in our libraries for children to sit, and explained how the poem took shape out of her experience. She also donated a few books authored by herself to the library," he said.

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