Crayons of Hope set up Wall O Books to brighten up a dull school. Now it has a 100 Wall O Books across Kolkata.
A team from Crayons of Hope, an NGO in Kolkata, was on a visit to a government school to discuss a project, when it realised how gloomy the school looked. The walls were painted in dark colours and the classrooms were not well lit. This is what inspired the organisation to start something new and different to spruce up the school. The team thought that maybe a library could brighten the look of the room.
And so the organisation came up with Wall O Books.
“It’s a library. But not the kind you see in usual schools. This is a wall library. It’s made of sack and is beautiful,” says Sameer Sherpa who works with Crayons of Hope.
What the NGO does is it zeros in on a wall, paints it with bright colours, and suspend the books from it.
Wall O Books is not only restricted to schools. In fact, it was first set up at the All Together Trust’s building in 2014. Since then, Wall O Books has been installed at 100 schools and other organisations in Kolkata. The 100th Wall O Books was inaugurated just last week.
“It’s been an amazing journey for us. This initiative has not only helped in beautifying the schools, but has also prompted many children to read. And that gives us satisfaction at the end of the day,” says Sameer.
While inaugurating the Wall O Books, the organisation gets the children to pick a ‘Little Librarian’ from among themselves. This, according to them, instills a sense of responsibility in the children. The Little Librarian, who is chosen after an election, is in charge of maintaining the library and ensuring the books come back on time. The books for the libraries are usually donated or are bought from Amar Chitra Katha at a subsidised rate. Crayons of Hope also conducts various interventions for the children in school.
“We teach them life skills and also hold fun activities for them,” says Sameer.
Crayons of Hope was founded in 2014 by Sanjukt Saha and Swasthika Gurung.
The organisation is now in talks with a few schools in Delhi and plans to expand the reach of Wall O Books. It also aims to set it up in schools in big cities across the country.