Founded in 2019, TODP is setting up libraries in some of India’s remotest villages. These libraries would be designed to serve as independent learning centres that don’t simply house a diverse range of books, but also educational games and activities. Each such library would also be digitally equipped and connected to the Internet. These would be the first libraries in those villages. Eight such libraries have been set up in eight villages across three states of Manipur, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in 2019. 20 such libraries will be set-up in 2020.
We are alums of NIT Rourkela, BITS-Pilani, IIT Bombay, XLRI and ISB who have lived in both small villages as well as big cities. We were united by our common interests. After working for more than half a decade in various fields (banking, media, education to name a few), we have come together under 'The Open Door Project' to build libraries & learning houses in the most inaccessible locations to help spread knowledge and encourage curiosity.
Meet Hao Gin Len (picture above) from Khomunnom, a tiny village near the Myanmar border in Manipur. He is an exceptionally curious child. He is in class IV and the topper of the school. His questions clearly outgrow the content in his textbooks. The village teachers with their limited exposure can assist only so far. With poor electricity and mobile network, the scope to harness the internet is also absent. While many of us had the privilege of exploring countless books in our libraries which brought out the story writers and scientists among us, countless such Haos never get a chance to explore more, never knowing that there is a world of possibilities. Ending up with very limited career choices and being lost in ignominy. These learning houses open doors to the world for such children. They not only gain more knowledge but also gain perspective to develop aspirations & dreams from their lives. When he goes back to his house and shares his knowledge with his friends, neighbours and people at home- an entire community learns; an entire community dreams.
The Open Door Project will use the funds to buy Pratham books in English, Hindi and regional languages to establish libraries in 15 villages across the country in extremely remote locations. These would be the first libraries of these villages and the majority of these libraries would serve tribal communities who have minimal access to knowledge or other resources. These libraries would actively engage people from the community regardless of age, gender or any social factor.