Sunday, September 5, 2010

Salute a city that cares and shares enough to build a giant book wall

● Sumit Agarwal, 19, struggled to climb the City Centre steps but he just had to add his share of books (65 of them) to the wall. “I don’t consider my difficulty in walking a problem. So many kids don’t have access to education. That is a much greater problem,” said the boy with cerebral palsy.

● Souhardya Ganguly, a Class IV student, who came to give to the cause of education, got a lot more in return. Just as he parted with his favourite Sherlock Holmes and poetry books, he discovered an unread Enid Blyton Sea of Adventure in the book wall. He promptly picked it up and sat down to read. “I will finish it here,” he declared.

The Aviva Great Wall of Education, presented by The Telegraph, brought out the best in Calcutta over five days — a Calcutta that cares, a Calcutta that shares — and so the book count at the City Centre (Salt Lake) soared past the Delhi mark of 123,000 and towards a 400,000 high.

By the time the wall-building endeavour was halted on Sunday evening, the count read 328,000 with books still being collated and counted.

The spirit of giving was the clear winner. The spirit that drew three generations of a family, Kamala Chakraborty, 72, daughter-in-law Krishna, 44, and granddaughter Piyali, 14, to the wall with 150 books.

The spirit that saw M.C. Saha come with 208 primary level books, register them and slip away, even refusing to be photographed. He was there for the cause, not the cameras.

Full report here Telegraph

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