Vaisyambhagom (Alappuzha): The Bishop Benanvantore Memorial High School (BBMHS) here became the first educational institution in the country to be enrolled under the Guru Kalam Granthaalayah (GKG) mission.
GKG is a pilot project of the Bengaluru-based Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF) and Abdul Kalam Foundation, Rameswaram.
IIF has been officially spearheading many missions of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam since 2007.
Under the GKG mission, libraries will be set up across village schools in India in a phased manner. The second GKG will beset up at a government school in Athani, a village on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border.
On Thursday BBMHS Headmistress Annie Chandy received a certificate from IIF representatives, according the school the status of the first school under the GKG mission.
The first lot of 50 inspiring books in English and Malayalam was handed over to the school. The school will receive morebooks in a phased manner, based on the progress report it generates every month.
Schools enrolled under the GKG mission are enjoined to form a Library Committee consisting of teachers, students, parentsand alumni. IIF will depute a volunteer to act as Mentor to every school.
“The idea of the GKG mission — with the tagline Shut the Mobiles, Spread the Books — is to divert the attention ofchildren from excessive use of mobiles phones and social media sites. GKG aims to bring students back to the reading.
habit,” said Dr Uma Devi, a senior dental specialist based out of Vandanam and an IIF volunteer, who spoke on the occasion.Ahead of the launch of the GKG mission, BBMHS had upgraded its old library.
Currently, the school has 234 students, mainly from a poor background. There are 12 teaching and five non-teaching staff members.
Dr Nazeema Maraikayar, Chairperson of Abdul Kalam International Foundation, Rameswaram, and niece of former President Dr Kalamsaid BBMHS must aim to become a model institution by 2020. “Our idea is to set up GKGs in deserving schools after a thorough verification process. Dr Kalam always felt that the only way to take India closer to becoming a developed nation is through books and knowledge ,” Dr Nazeema said.