Avalokitesvara Trust creates reading rooms for children so for International Book Giving Day, we decided to start a book-collection drive. We received an incredible response from all over India. Books were carefully chosen, ordered and shipped to Dharamsala for the young readers of Norling Creche & Kindergarten. We are happy to have enhanced their little library with good quality books. To have played a role in encouraging the joy of reading and bringing smiles to their faces!
We got together to open packages of delightful books and celebrate International Book Giving Day at the Norling creche and kindergarten. A group of 15 volunteers, aged 8 to 10 years were very eager to create a new library upstairs. They happily carried all the old books and categorised them into small, medium and large books. We had a little contest to see which group ( red, green, yellow, blue, white colours of the prayer flags) could count the most books in the least time. It was chaotic and so much fun!! And they finished counting the books in 9 minutes (they’d decided on 15 minutes as the target) After this exercise, they realised that their existing books needed to be categorised into levels and broader subjects. So we created colour codes for levels of reading, for Tibetan, science and for teacher reading material. After four hours of activity we finally displayed all the new additions on to the empty shelves.
The next day, we played a few games. An improvisation of ‘Simon says’, became ‘Norbu says, Sangmo says..’ and the library room was filled with laughter! To calm everyone down, we sat in a circle and concentrated on our breathing. This wasn’t any easy task as a few of them were curious to know what was to follow but we managed to bring back our focus and recollect the activities of the previous session and the task at hand. Setting up a library is no small job and the children once again, tidied up the piles of old books. After all this work, they had a tea break and then finally, chose a book each and sat in a corner or lay on their tummies to immerse themselves in their new book collection. It was very satisfying to see them enjoying the books with quiet rapture. We added a few finishing touches and called it a day by taking a group of books for the little ones downstairs to create a small toddler library. Now that we’re ready, we’ll be inviting ALL the children from ALL the classes to their new reading rooms. We can’t wait!!
We appreciate the kind support of the people who got together to make this a huge success. Thank you Wishes & Blessings, Tanushree Singh, Ishaan, Vivaan, Vaani Arora, Unnati Sethi, Sonika Balyan, Vidya Janakiraman, Sujatha Padmanabhan, Khanjan Dalal, Smitha & Nava, Sonali Jain & Neil Biswas, Neelam, Ferzin Patel, Niki & Akki and each and everyone of you who contributed or helped in other ways.
The Norbulingka Institute, founded in 1988 and is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture in its literary and artistic forms. Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down tradition and restoring standards by providing training, education and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which Tibetan community and family values can flourish. The institute is named after Norbulingka, the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas, in Lhasa, Tibet. The ground plan is based on the proportions of Avalokitesvara, the thousand-armed god of compassion, with the temple as the head.
Norbulingka runs a free daycare – the Norling creche and kindergarten, and after school program for all the children of their staff. This eases the mind of parents who know their children are being well looked after, and allows children to learn Tibetan values from an early age. Currently, they are working to build a small library so that the children may acquire a love of reading from an early age.