India celebrates 26th #NationalReadingDay on social media amid pandemic

National Reading Day 2021: This year’s focus is on ‘digital reading’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic

India celebrates 26th #NationalReadingDay on social media amid pandemic National reading day is celebrated on June 19 every year to commemorate P N Panicker's contribution in cultivating reading culture
R. Radhika | Jun 19, 2021 - 12:29 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker, the man behind the ‘Library Movement in Kerala’, spent his lifetime cultivating a rich reading culture in Kerala. His remarkable efforts also reflect on the outstanding literacy record Kerala has been maintaining over the years. To commemorate his contribution, the country observes the national reading day on June 19.

Every year on Panicker’s death anniversary, the PN Panicker Foundation has been observing the national reading day, reading week, and reading month since 1996. This year, the country is celebrating the 26th national reading day.

Engaging students and adults alike, the foundation also organises various online activities and competitions. Owing to the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has organized activities that motivate reading online. A month-long ‘digital reading celebration' begins today and will continue till July 18.

Long before the pandemic pushed the world to rely on technology for all purposes, the PN Panicker foundation was promoting e-reading in rural areas. The foundation established 25,000 rural home e-libraries in 2010.

Professing their love for reading, citizens, political leaders, and children took to social media to celebrate with the hashtag #NationalReadingDay.

On the occasion, Arif Mohammed Khan, Kerala Governor, promoted reading to “ignite minds and strengthen understanding of the world”.

Kerala MP, Shashi Tharoor recalled Panicker’s legacy and his efforts to improve the literacy rate in Kerala. “This unassuming man, a simple librarian, is honoured in today’s #NationalReadingDay. PN Panicker’s slogan could be translated as “grow by reading” [and] also as “grow as you read”. He led Kerala to universal literacy [and] dreamt of an India where no child would be deprived of books,” Tharoor wrote.

Dedicated to promoting the reading culture he experienced in Kerala, Sathyanarayan Mundayoor, popularly known as Uncle Moosa, has started a library movement in Arunachal Pradesh. Bureaucrat Prashant Lokhande wished him on the occasion. “On National Reading day best wishes to Moosa uncle, a pioneer in Arunachal’s library movement. May thousands get inspired from this movement like my daughters got inspiration. Honoured to be part of his team. Let’s take this movement to every corner of our state.,” Lokhande wrote.

Another posted a picture of their book collection and wrote about their experience of reading books. “Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach,” a book lover tweeted.

Another reader posted the recent read to celebrate the occasion.

“ When we read any book, we are connected to the authors, as if they are directly talking to us and guiding us, which is not otherwise possible, as you can’t meet the authors directly,” wrote another reader.

A student shared his love for reading books and its importance in poetry.

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