One of the unfulfilled dreams of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was to ensure that every youth of India has access to books and hence quality knowledge. He wished that there should be at least one free library in every village and even the remotest corner of the country and that the youth of the nation should have access to books as a matter of right.
The Kalam Library Project, founded by his close advisor and co-author for many years, Srijan Pal Singh is based on this unfulfilled wish of Dr. Kalam. This mission aims to empower the demographic dividend of the nation with the power of knowledge so that they realize that nothing is impossible in life. In essence, this how the next generation of “Kalams” has to be built from the roots of India.
Kalam Library Project was started in January 2016 with the first library being opened at Lilapur village near Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The library was launched by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, who donated more than 150 books including 5 books that inspired her in life.
The number since has increased and till date more than 450 libraries have been inaugurated in 14 states (Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar). These libraries inclusively serve a population of about 500,000.
A new member of the Gujarat chapter was added on 23rd February 2020 at Don Bosco Snehalaya, B/h Mahindra Tractors, Near Vishwamitri Station (West), Vadodara, Gujarat 390011. The Chief Guests of the event were Captain (Retd.) JN Vaishnav and Father George, Director of Don Bosco Snehalaya.
Addressing the students Captain Vaishnav told, “In an age where the attention span of youth has reduced to just a few seconds, it is the urgent need to inculcate the habit of reading books at a very young age.” He also donated over 60 inspiring books from his personal collection to the library.
Highlighting the importance of reading and appreciating the efforts of Kalam Library team Father George said, “This library would help inculcate the habit of reading into our students and help them become ‘Kalams’ of tomorrow.
Speaking about this project, Srijan Pal Singh, CEO, Kalam Centre and Founder of the Kalam Library Project said “We started Kalam Library Project with a vision to carry forward the unfulfilled dream of Dr. Kalam. Though he is physically not present with us yet he lives inside each one of us – in our thoughts through his vision. Let’s just not read about the missile man… let’s try and become a ‘Kalam’. I am very happy that Charmy and her young team of Kalam followers are taking forward this dream of Dr. Kalam in Gujarat.”
Charmy Pandya is the Under Secretary of Kalam Centre Youth Leadership Team and has been working extensively in Children Observation Homes across the state of Gujarat. She has opened seven libraries in such homes to bridge the gap between these children and the community waiting for them outside through the world of books along with value-based recreational and educational activities. The mission inculcates values and ethics in minds of these children so that they can create a better and brighter future for themselves as well as the nation as envisioned by Dr. Kalam.