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message 1: by Vishal (new)

Vishal | 2 comments Shaastra, the annual technical festival of IIT Madras, launches the Pledge-A-Book campaign.

With footfalls of 25,000 each year, Shaastra is well-known for being one of the biggest and best technical fests in Asia and the first in the world to be ISO: 9001: 2008 certified. It is the only completely student-run ISO certified festival of its kind.

Shaastra has evolved into an organisation which not only exhibits an extravaganza of science and technology but also undertakes socially relevant issues for the benefit of the society.

This year, Shaastra presents the Pledge-A-Book campaign which is an initiative for promoting reading and encouraging development among underprivileged students. It is a humble attempt to give something back to society and create a platform where everyone can contribute and make an impact. We collect books from the society, be it children's books, encyclopedias, engineering books etc. and use them for the betterment of the underprivileged, by setting up reading facilities at various schools, NGO's, orphanages, teaching centre's.

We have associated with notable NGOs such as Indian Development Foundation (IDF), Avanti Fellows, Team Everest, Say What, Open INDIA, Prayag, Aikya Foundation, Altius Foundation, Agni Shine. The above NGO’s are involved in education and empowerment programmes throughout the country. They, thus have similar objectives and we would be collaborating for book collections, logistics, library establishments and other aspects of the campaign. We would be setting up libraries, specifically catering to wishlists from the respective NGO’s.

The Pledge-A-Book collections have garnered an encouraging response. Several collections within IIT Madras, including one at the Terry Fox Run (on 24th August) have resulted in around 1500 books being collected. It received positive responses from all, including school, college students, corporates and other organizations. The campaign got 200 books from the Higginbothams book store in Chennai.

During the Daan Utsav (Joy Of Giving Week) we had set up our first library at the Teaching Centre of Avanti Fellows at Pondicherry followed by, our next set of reading facilities which were established at an NGO called Aaravam and an orphanage (who would not like to be named) with more such facilities coming up in the weeks that follow. The campaign was flagged off by renowned science writer Mr.Anil Ananthaswamy and has received support from famous English comedian, actor, writer and activist Stephen Fry, and support in the form of books from one of the leading authors of children books, Mrs. Sudha Murty. We not only have the support of UNESCO in our endeavor, but media recognition, from The Hindu encouraging our activities and the campaign, has given a boost to this campaign.

The Pledge-A-Book campaign has collection points at various places such as IIT Madras and the IDF centres across the country and other places in Chennai.

As the Pledge-A-Book campaign evolves and progresses as we have envisioned, we are looking forward to any kind of support through books or in promoting the campaign. This would definitely help us in creating the impact with regards to promoting reading among the underprivileged and spreading literacy.

Pledge. Enlighten. Impact

For more information and our contact details, visit our website:
Visit our facebook page for more details:
The Shaastra website:

message 2: by Lakshmi (new)

Lakshmi Hayagriva | 8 comments I support this initiative. The govt. should also distribute ereaders like they distributed laptops.

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