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Oduva Belaku - The light of Reading

Oduva Belaku - The light of Reading



Oduva Belaku” (The light of reading) was launched across Karnataka during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic when reopening of schools was deferred, to revive rural public libraries, help children stay connected to reading and build a library culture within communities. 

Broad envisaged outcome of this initiative was to ensure that no children were left out, and rural children were brought back into the learning fold in a systematic manner. The initial phase of the programme was spread over a period of 70 days starting from Children’s day, November 14, 2020 up to the National Girl Child day, January 24, 2021. The RDPR department launched the programme in collaboration with officials from the Education Dept, and NGOs such as Azim Premji Foundation (APF), Bharathiya Gnana Vignana Samithi (BGVS) and Sikshana Foundation. Rural library membership was made free for children in the age group 6-18 years. They received library membership cards so they could take a book home to read. In the months that followed, one million rural children enrolled. These libraries became safe spaces, especially for adolescent girls, to spend their time productively.

The concept of open-air library came up, a bayalu granthalaya, in a garden or around public transport facility station. Weekly sessions were organized over several months, for students to talk about books they had read.

Enabling instructions and guidelines were issued for utilisation of 40 percent of untied grants from 15th Finance Commission grants for the maintenance of GP libraries. Rural libraries were taken up for revival in phases by electrical connections, book racks, furniture, reading rooms or balconies, study desks for students, armchairs, and garden benches for seniors. Many GPs were given new spaces, and some got new buildings. 

Oduva Belaku and Mane Sameekshe

Launch of STE(A)M Ed Pilot Programme in Yadgir 

Programmes launched by RDPR Department in Collaboration with NGOs



Collaborating NGOs


Gram Panchayats


'My Library for a Better Me' - Key Skills for every Child

Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA)

Citizenship and Life Skills 

Age Group: 

11 to 17 years

55 GPs of Tumakuru and Ramanagara


Read Aloud Programme 

Adhyayan Foundation

Enable reading culture 

Age group: 

6-18 years

21 GPs of Kodagu and Bengaluru Urban districts


Panchayat Libraries as Learning (Kalika) Centres  

India Literacy Project

Child friendly Gram Panchayats

Age group: 3-18

10 GPs in Tumakuru district


Empowering rural youth through Career Exposure, through Gram Panchayat Libraries

India Literacy Project

Rural Children/ youth 

1200+ HPS and HS of the 7 districts of Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Ballari and Vijayanagara,


STE (A) M Education

Yuva Chintana Foundation (YCF)

Hands on learning –Life Skills on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics

70 GPs of Yadgir and Koppal districts


Gram Digi Vikasana

Sikshana Foundation 

Equip Rural Libraries with Digital infrastructure and support Digital Literacy

1200 GPs 


Digital infrastructure for libraries

During 2021, enabling instructions were issued for utilisation of 14th and 15th FC grants or Own Source Revenue of Gram panchayats for adding digital infrastructure to the libraries, to provide Digital Library Services. Following minimum digital infrastructure was recommended to be added:

  1.     Minimum two computers
  2.     Uninterrupted Power Supply provision (1-2 kv)
  3.     Internet facility - Wifi, router and modem
  4.     Access to the Karnataka Digital Public Library portal developed by the Department of Public Libraries.
  5. Access to e-books and academic videos through the mobile app e-sarvajanika granthalaya (e- public library)

Beacon Libraries

During August 2021, orders were issued to set up Beacon libraries to make these rural public libraries inclusive spaces for visually challenged. As on date 470 Gram Panchayats have been identified for establishing Beacon libraries

Library management and Memberships

One of the 29 subjects listed in the eleventh schedule of the Indian Constitution added by the the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act is ‘libraries’. Gram Panchayats are now proactively and efficiently managing the rural public libraries. Library timings have been increased from four hours to six hours daily. Libraries are now open on Saturdays and Sundays too. The librarians' honorarium has been increased by 60 percent.

Enabling instructions and guidelines were issued for utilisation of 40 percent of untied grants from 15th Finance Commission grants for the maintenance of GP libraries. 

The RDPR department has made library membership free for children from 6-18 years and subsequently 1.5 million children were enrolled for free, adding to the regular library memberships. 

To strengthen the efficiency and capacity of library supervisors and sustain the initiative, a 5-day computer literacy training and a 3-month certification course is offered by RDPR University.

Last Updated: 24-06-2022 05:35 PM Updated By: Admin

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