In Mumbai, the school kids have been allowed to come without their school bags to the school on the birthday of Former President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on October 15. The city schools, following the order of the government, will carry out a Vaachan Prerna Divas or Reading Day.
The students will get to read the books apart from their course books. The School Education Minister Vinod Tawde had taken the decision to announce the birth anniversary of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam as Vaachan Prerna Diwas in the schools across the state soon after the former President’s demise on July 27.
On October 7, government released a resolution allowing the students from class 3 to 8 of all the schools in Maharashtra, not to carry school bags on October 15. The schools have also been instructed by the government to allow the students to read non-academic books, host book exhibitions, conduct discussions on books, teach students about well-known authors from around the world and initiate gift-a-book programme.
The state government has kept a fund of Rs. 6 lakh aside for gift-a-book programme.
“Kalam’s writings are an inspiration to students and youth. These activities will help students develop an interest for reading, which is sorely lacking. So we created the ‘school without bags’ plan for that day” said B. B. Chavan, the Deputy Director of Mumbai region.
The authorities have also asked the schools to donate some time on a specific day every month for reading, organize meets for teachers, host book fairs and keep the school library updated and the students and teachers who read the maximum number of books should be awarded.