Anirban Nandy and Poulami Nandy — PhD scholars from IIT Kharagpur in rural development have turned down an offer to study postgraduate studies in the United States of America to give children in villages in North Bengal access to better education. The husband-wife duo have created a mobile library that helps students stay connected with the latest books and offers additional lessons.
This mobile library has textbooks for children; most have been collected from urban households of Siliguri, while others have been purchased by the duo. More than 5,200 books are currently present in this mobile van library.
Anirban and his wife Poulami bring this van to 30 villages in North Bengal.
They provide textbooks to village children and renew these books every three months.
Not only books but the mobile library also offers lessons to village children for Rs 10. From spoken English to computers, this couple gives varied courses to children living in villages of North Bengal.
Anirban’s father was a farmer and his mother was a nurse, he had always been interested in working for the village.
While researching rural development at IIT Kharagpur, he discovered several problems of villagers. Poulami was his research assistant at the time. Both eventually got married.
Speaking to News18, Anirban said: “Mobile library connects with people, we need to empower more people. We were given the opportunity to stay outside India and study postgraduate, but we saw smiles on the faces of village women and children; them empowering gives us happiness.The theories that we had to spread from the AC room, we now do from these village houses, that’s our satisfaction.
The villages of Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Alipurduar are mostly real garden villages. Anirban and Poulami’s organization ‘live life happily’ educates and empowers village mothers. Now their team has more than 8,000 women who work as a self-help group.
Speaking to News 18, Poulami said: “I feel a different level of satisfaction that we have, we couldn’t have had more satisfaction anywhere else. We work together on personal and social development, which is great.”
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