Pick N Drop-Text Book Recycling

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TYV Shout out to “Venkatesan Sundar” from Delhi Private School – Sharjah; Grade 7 student

IMG_2915In line with UAE’s strategy of emphasizing the culture of reading and in order to protect the environment by not tossing old books into the landfill, we as members of Students for the Earth Group (SFE) initiated “Pick N Drop-Text Book Recycling” drive in April 2016.  The idea was given to me by my senior Arushi Madan. We put up a poster mentioning the details over social media.   Since then I have been getting calls from all across the UAE-Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Karama, Ajman, Sharjah asking whether I have XYZ book. People from all corners of UAE have so many useless books with them which they don’t know what to do with. I have been going to all such people and collecting their used books to be given away to those in need. People who are getting their needed books free are very happy and thankful. Infact, the students from grade 9 to grade 12 are the most benefited as many guides and reference books are not readily available even in the bookshops.

The event was launched initially for text books or reference books or preparatory books for entrance tests etc. but as we started getting story books, encyclopedias as well so we extended this drive to include all sorts of books.

My house is full of the books I have collected in the past few weeks. I have collected more than 1000 books of grades 1-12 CBSE, ICSE, GCSE curriculum and general story books, encyclopedia etc.  It was a herculean task to segregate the books grade wise. It took me about 4 -5 days to sort the books. I then posted the pictures of the books on social media so that those who needed them could contact me.  Also Reference books of senior classes are usually very expensive so it’s a good idea to reuse someone’s books rather than spending so much on new ones. I am so overwhelmed with the success of this drive through which we have been able to help so many students by giving them the books they needed –free of cost. We have also helped those who had these old (last session) books lying with them and of no use. This way we are providing a platform for everyone to come and give the books they no longer need and take away the books (from our collection) they need for their current academic session or for general studying.

IMG_2865I would be conducting this drive every year as it is a great way to help spread the joy of reading to many more people. Many people have a bad habit of simply throwing away the books at the end of an academic session to make space for their new books. They don’t take pains to find out if anyone else needs them. Through such campaign, I want to inculcate the attitude of “Books Exchange”.

Our society is way too quick to throw stuff away. We have the most wasteful people on earth. That mindset needs to change. There is value in everything we have and make. Let’s not waste it. Let’s give new life to old books by passing them to those who need them. Books are adventure. They are the best companion. They love anyone who opens them. Books are a source of knowledge and are not a use-and-throw item. Books can continue to pass on valuable information to people, regardless of the number of times they have been read. Instead of throwing the old books, we should give them to our juniors or those who need them.

Youth-led initiatives are capable of changing society in meaningful ways. This is one such initiative aimed at right direction to make a positive change. Hope to inspire others with this drive.