During my childhood days in Kerala, India, we had very few options when it came to reading. The library was our main source of information.
So whatever printed material we were able to receive had great value. Often, it included old newspapers used as wrapping paper, or magazines brought by visitors.
But as the years have progressed, the new generation is now flooded with various options for information — mainly from paperless sources.
Children have become addicted to electronic games. Words have dropped from their vocabulary. For those who love to read, books are a costly expense, making it all the more difficult.
However, I found a different group of children recently. At the recently held 29th Sharjah International Book Fair, I came across a group of students from the Manzil Centre for Challenged Individuals.
They were there to enjoy the wonderful world of books. They moved from shelf to shelf, excitedly scanning through the displays.
However, they did not want to give away the momentum gained from the book fair. The Fourth Used Book Festival organised by Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services is scheduled to be held in Palm Oasis, Buheira Corniche from March 1-4. This event is meant to promote reading among students, give them an opportunity to acquire books for a small fee and enable them to raise funds for the more vulnerable in our community.
Manzil and its students are taking part in this book festival with a view to create more reading opportunities and literary awareness among children and adults alike.
It is now our turn to help them sustain their interest for reading through donating our old books.
Those who are interested in donating second-hand books that can be reused may contact the management of Manzil at email@example.com without any further delay.
— The reader is a technical officer in Abu Dhabi and a volunteer at Manzil
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