IIT Gandhinagar Hosts Session With Padma Shri Awardee Sathyanarayanan Mundayoor

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IIT Gandhinagar Hosts Session With Padma Shri Awardee Sathyanarayanan Mundayoor

| Updated: September 7, 2022 20:28

Padma Shri-winning educator and social reformer Sathyanarayanan Mundayoor gave a session titled “Joyful Reading in Script-less Communities: An Arunachal Pradesh Story” as part of the Social Justice Seminar Series at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) on September 6, 2022.

Mundayoor emphasised that the gaps in the formal system made him realise that he needed to work outside the system to promote reading. He provided a narrative overview of the changes in the educational sector in Arunachal Pradesh from 1947 to the present, where local communities speak various languages without a script.

“We launched Book Reading Campaigns (1998-2022) jointly with district administration, libraries, teachers, and volunteers to reach out to the reading deprived in the remote border villages. Our sole objective is that if the reader does not come to the books, then the books must go to the reader,” he said.

Mundayoor, bursting with enthusiasm and inspiration, emphasised how his main goal has always been to create a people’s model—an organisation owned and managed by people. He expressed his conviction that “each one may teach many.” IIT-GN, a prominent and premium educational institute in Gujarat, also believes in the same ideology.

In addition to fostering a sense of confidence and social responsibility, he discussed the Lohit Youth Library Network. It has helped people realise that “everyone can contribute to the less fortunate in whatever manner they can.” He emphasised, “Social transformation cannot occur unless people come together and participate in it.” He summarised the Library Network’s success as a movement of confidence that built gradually.

When asked about the difficulties he encountered working in Arunachal Pradesh as a non-native, he said, “every group has its perspective and that every difficulty also presents a fresh opportunity.” He discussed how, in his approach, he had made clear that forcing change was not the best course of action. He included volunteers in his effort since involving people is crucial.

At last, he said, “Reform does not happen overnight. It takes time. The right people just come. However, that does not mean the end of challenges. Challenges remain.”

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