Paying tribute to former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam, the Maharashtra government has decided to observe October 15 as Vaachan Prerna Diwas
or ‘Reading Day’. The occasion will be celebrated as ‘No School Bag Day’ in Mumbai and adjoining areas. According to a government’s order that was issued this past Wednesday, students in the city of Mumbai and adjoining areas would now be allowed to leave their school bags at home next Thursday, October 15, on Kalam’s birth anniversary.
Maharashtra’s education minister Vinod Tawde had decided to celebrate October 15 as ‘Reading Day’ across the state back in July soon after Kalam’s death on 27th of the month.
Though the decision was made months ago, the government issued a resolution this Wednesday asking students from Class III to VIII to read non-academic books in school on October 15.
What is more, the government also instructed the schools to host book exhibitions and implement gift-a-book programmes so as to introduce them to well-known authors from around the world.
The government is said to be providing almost Rs.6 lakh for this programme. Talking about this move and how is it related to Kalam, deputy director of Mumbai region B Chavan said:
“Kalam’s writings are an inspiration to students and youth. These activities will help students develop an interest for reading, which is sorely lacking. No pressures in class will help students read what they like and have fun doing it.”
Chavan has also advised schools to dedicate time on a specific day every month for reading non-academic books.
He has also asked schools to host book fairs and organise meets for teachers, so as to keep the school library updated.