A London-based merchant banker-turned-social activist Michael Norton, who is also the founder of the Directory of Social Change, set up Books for Change nearly a decade ago with an intention to disseminate information on a variety of social issues.
While Norton was active in the initial stages, ActionAid, an international NGO, took it forward from there — and today, though still linked to the NGO, the organisation functions independently.
Books for Change is a publishing house within the country’s social sector. With the kind of books it publishes the organisation intends to equip people with information so as to enable ‘informed’ choices.
“Books don’t promise solutions to problems like poverty, marginalisation, inequity and ill-health, but they can share ideas, experiences, information and get stories told,” says Shobha Ramachandran, manager and publisher.
Speaking of the array of topics that their books deal with, Ramachandran says, “Our books cover a wide spectrum of issues confronting modern society.” Issues of poverty and displacement; of caste, gender and oppression of minority rights; of the ravages wrought by development on the environment; of disasters caused by man and nature, and facing up to them. Their books also write about hope in the midst of struggles.
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