Room to Read India rolls out Its 4th annual flagship reading campaign

Theme of reading equals

Room to Read
Photo Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

As part of its commitment to ensure children’s learning across the country, Room to Read India rolled out its annual flagship campaign #IndiaGetsReading across twelve states of India. The fourth year of the campaign, themed on reading equals – padhna jahan samaanta wahan, started from 15 August and will conclude on 8 September, the International Literacy Day, with a national seminar at New Delhi. The reading equals campaign symbolizes Room to Read’s undertaking to promote the habit of reading in children and support the development of foundational literacy skills across the country.

The campaign will see active engagement of children, parents, caregivers, teachers, government officials, corporate partners, and volunteers, both at the national level and at the state level. Various activities have been curated to ensure that stakeholders participate to create a conducive environment for the culture of reading to prosper. Some of the key activities for this campaign include pledge reading time with children, reading melas, mobile libraries for children, seminars, workshops, street plays, arts and crafts, and other competitions. This year, through a read-a-thon that will take place across the 12 states of India (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi NCR, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh) in an offline mode, Room to Read India will attempt to bring together a record number of readers to read for a specific time duration.

Sourav Banerjee, country director, Room to Read India says, “Building on the success of the previous three years of the India Gets Reading campaign, Room to Read India, in this edition aims to reinforce key learnings and greater participation from across the country to bring spotlight on the importance of reading. Through the reading equals campaign, we want to establish reading as a great equalizer that eliminates inequities, inspires people to stand against discrimination, and makes the world a better space! With on ground and digital activations, this campaign will ensure that the reading equals messaging transcends boundaries to sensitize and benefit people, especially children at scale.”

Reading equals zeroes down on reading as one of the highest priorities of the Indian education system, marked by India’s New Education Policy 2020. The three-week-long campaign would reaffirm Room to Read’s belief that when children get equal opportunities in life, they can transform their lives and the lives of their communities.

Room to Read India was established in 2003 and presently has programs in twelve states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi NCR, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

Room to Read is a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded in 2000 on the belief that world change starts with educated children, our innovative model focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools during two time periods that are most critical in a child’s schooling – early primary school for  literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education. Till date, Room to Read has benefited 32 million children across 21 low-income countries.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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