JUNGLE LIBRARY NETWORK: AN UNCOMMON IDEA
LIBRARY AS A JHOLA
THE TRADITIONAL VIEW
The TRADITIONAL understanding of libraries in conventional spaces is a physical space where an individual can sit and explore various domains which were unheard and untaught for in their lives in a controlled noiseless environment. It is meant to teach the child discipline and organisation it seems.
At a young age, interest of a child to learn beyond the school curriculum, interact and gain knowledge in an interesting manner. The child’s brain is a learning centre which is curious to explore the unexplored and libraries have the potential to provide such a platform which can cater to the thirst of an evolving and emerging mind.
THE JUNGLE VIEW
The "Jungle Library Network" is an uncommon initiative which was framed to provide a learning space to children of forest communities in the traditional habitats. It is primarily meant to keep the ecosystem the way it is and use it as an accelerator. This has evolved with the community sharing the immense indigenous knowledge over sittings in 'Deras' and moving along with animals as the graze and enjoy the rivers.
In the past 6 months, Samanta has been engaged in a challenging geographic landscapes to support forest communities to reduce the harsh effects of Covid-19. Our core focus has been to keep the children engaged with project based learning facilitated through the Community Youth.
The experience and reflections with the children, community and youth have taught us that they are willing to participate and take ownership of the logistics that we create/provide to enable delivery of education for their children.
As a result Samanta identified youth from within the community who were trained to deliver contextualised modules to the children coming to the learning centre.
We have been PILOTING playful, innovative story-telling sessions with children to integrate their living and learning. We have observed that these ideas have been able to generate interest in the children to learn about their surroundings, culture, history, etc.
The library network is an intermediary idea to boost learning outcomes and youth capacity building. It is a unique idea of documenting local stories, songs and cultural practices.
We believe that inspirational stories with whom children can associate themselves can be crucial in shaping their self and attitude towards life. The activities conducted as part of read aloud sessions and community story telling instil a spirit of learning and connecting with structured education via books.
So, a simple looking repository of books can play a vital role in transforming a space!
Guneet & Prashant