More than books

We came across this article in the IndianExpress of Dec 17th about an initiative of Hema Shanbhag & friends of Malleshwaram, moving from house to house and collecting old books, for a cause! “These books will later go towards the creation of libraries in community schools,” said Hema Shanbag, the brainchild of this concept & former Head of the Dept. of Comp Science & Information Science  in Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Tech. Bangalore

We caught up with her over email and asked her a few questions.

Just Books: How & Where did the seed of this idea of yours originate?

Hema Shanbhag: The idea to do something for the society was my long time dream. I was  working in the education field for a period of more than 15 years.I never took any initiative in this regard until earlier this year  as I started to do the ‘Curriculum for Living’ by Landmark Education, a global enterprise. Towards the end of the curriculum participants take up community projects, the main aim of the projects being making a difference to the society! There I took up this project to collect old books from schools and nieghbourhood which would later go the community schools libraries in the vicinity. My friends and family members have given me support in doing this Project.  It started as a small project, now it has grown beyond my imagination.

JB: What has been the response so far?

HS: The response from the public has been amazing! I have got calls from varied sections of the society.. Most of them hail from Education field where I belong to….Educationists, School Heads,Librarians, Retired Professors and of course the general public. I really have to have my friends in large numbers to go around the whole of Bangalore in order to reach the Donors. The segregation and distribution also plays a major role in this initiative. What I started as project for the school kids now has gone far beyond Professional Courses and related books….I have associated myself with some educational trusts and educationists in the area. Rotary Club has also extended its service to me to distribute the collected books to the needy schools.

JB: What other help and assistance would you be willing to accept from Bangaloreans, apart from receiving books?

HS: I am overwhelmed by the response that I received after the article of mine got published in Indian Express. The Project has grown to a new scale altogether now.  Many have expressed that they would carry out this noble move in their apartments and their areas as well. As many have got back to me with their collection of books in the areas of Medical and Engineering , now the onus of identifying some trusts which would give these books to the needy professional students lies on me. I know I can surely do this with concerned people and friends around me.

JB: Where would you like to see this initiative, say, in a year from now?

HS: A year from now I would like to start a trust, an NGO which aims in having Education and Knowledge reach the poor and needy. I have got an access to that through this project of mine.

Those of you who wish to contribute your bit towards this noble venture may get in touch with Hema Shanbhag on 9886707070  or reach her via email: hema.vpt@gmail.com