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Dwindling Readers: Developing Literary Taste Among Children

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When we start searching for quotations and write-ups regarding the necessity and importance of studying books, we find thousands of quotations and articles penned down by various intellectuals and philosophers in the course of history. Speeches are given in various conferences and seminars organised on different occasions regarding the imperativeness of erudition in our lives. But still, studying books has become an abandoned habit in our society.

Most people among us, especially the youth, assume studying as a boring task. It seems that nowadays, people have lost literary taste and are detouring from books. We constantly see that with every passing day our kids lose interest in studying and it is observed that they mostly remain busy with TV programs, internet and mobile phones. Our younger generation is spending most of their time on social sites like WhatsApp and Facebook.

Another reason for detachment from exploring the literary world is a tight schedule of schools, homework, tuitions, etc. After all these things our children find little or no time for studying other books and literature beyond their prescribed syllabus.

reading books
The system of mechanical teaching/learning process in schools has kept students away from the world of books.

Before proceeding further, an important question arises here: What does studying in its real sense mean? What does it signify? Most of the parents are satiated that their children go to school regularly, complete their homework, prepare for the examination, memorise the answers and finally clear their examination with good grades. For such parents, this what we call the process of studying. But in actuality, this is all a part of studying and not complete erudition. There is a broad and vast world of literature beyond the prescribed books in our educational institutions.

Nowadays the trend of getting maximum marks in examination has restricted our children to tuitions, tests and short notes. Students have even lost the habit of reading their curricular books. The system of mechanical teaching/learning process in schools has also kept students away from the world of books.

When we have a glance at the developed countries of the world, we find that people in such countries still poses good literary taste and are fond of books. It has been found that even in the present digital technology world a majority, 64% of Americans read paper books, while 28% read digital books. During 2017, almost 80% of readers in America were people in the age group of 18 to 29 years. 30% of people in America read books daily, while 25% read a book once a week.

In India, 32% of children read 24 books yearly. It isn’t easy to present the data regarding the trend of studying among Muslims, but from observations it has been found that the results are not very satisfactory.

The dream of a majestic and elegant future of a nation depends on its passion and enthusiasm for knowledge and knowledge is correlated to the love of learning. When we talk about a bright and prosperous future of a nation, it is unavoidable to think about its children and how to develop the habit of studying among them. Let’s ruminate some ways and methods in which we can develop the literary taste among our children:

  • Facilitative Environment

Parents must create a conducive environment for learning in their homes for a bright career of their kids. We know that a person is moulded by the environment in which he lives in and unfortunately the atmosphere in our houses is least facilitative for studying.

First of all, there should be enough number of books for studying in our houses, but nowadays the most popular thing in our houses are TV sets. It is necessary to replace the popularity of TV sets by books in our houses. There should be small libraries in every house with a variety of books and a particular time for studying should be formulated replacing watching futile programs on TV.

  • Providing a helping Hand

It has been found that people leave studying books if they find any difficulty in understanding it. So it is advisable to help such people in studying a book. We should help them in knowing new words, idioms and phrases. In the initial stage, children should be introduced to colourful books having lots of pictures in them so that studying becomes an interesting task.

  • Book purchasing as a routine Habit

It is necessary to make a book purchasing a routine habit to create a conducive atmosphere for studying in our houses. We should spare some money every month for purchasing books. Most of us spend money on wasteful activities which are rather harmful to us in the long run. We should divert that amount to buying books. Parents should develop a sense in their children to save some amount from their pocket money to purchase books.

Giving books as gifts to people on special occasions can be a step forward in this direction. Different social and religious organisations should create a system of reading rooms and libraries in far-flung areas where, otherwise, people are unable to access books of their choice for studying.

  • Persuasion and Encouragement

Persuasion and encouragement act as a catalyst in every work. So it is desirable to persuade people towards studying by organising seminars, competitions, etc. Children should be awarded suitably for reading a book and qualifying quiz competitions regarding studying various books. Target reading and prize awarding culture should be created in our educational institutions.

  • Visiting Libraries

It is necessary to visit libraries with our families to introduce our children to the world of books, but unfortunately, there are no libraries in our villages. We should take our children to different libraries during the holidays so that they may develop an interest in books.

  • Organising book Fairs

There has been a custom of organising book fairs in big cities by different publishers. Besides helping us in purchasing a variety of books, such fairs develop an interest in studying books in us. The Government should help the publishers and other stakeholders to organise such book fairs in rural areas to help people develop a literary taste.

Besides above there can be many more practical ways and inklings to motivate people, especially our youngsters towards studying books as it has been said that “where there’s a will there’s a way”.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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Read more about his campaign.

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Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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