Mumbai: Alibaba Group, in association with Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, today hosted its fourth book donation drive as part of the Mission Million Books initiative. Representatives from over 1000 schools and colleges came to handpick books that would help their students by providing better quality reading material. On display were over 350,000 books ranging from storybooks and textbooks on science, social studies, engineering and more. With this drive, the Mission Million Books initiative has successfully empowered over 2.5 million students across more than 2000 schools and colleges across Maharashtra.
This momentous occasion was graced by Swaroop Sampat Rawal, Consultant for UNICEF, Council Member AICTE, noted Actor and Author and Ramnath Subramaniam, CEO – Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation, who lit the lamp and distributed books to schools to encourage the initiative.
Mission Million Books (MMB) is a pan India social initiative aimed at providing the underserved with access to quality educational material for their growth and advancement, and supports the Indian government’s efforts to enable access to quality education for all. The project seeks to donate 1 million books to schools and colleges in India, to help students in their journey for education. Alibaba Group, in association with Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, works with its partners to secure books through donations from across the country, subsequently providing them to unprivileged schools and colleges for free. Several partners have supported this initiative – including Ecom Express, Paytm Mall, Hindustan Times, Carnival Cinemas, Stones2Milestones, World Bank Book Project and Nawa Samaj Mandal.
Speaking at the occasion, Vinay Bhartia, Senior Vice President – Strategic Partnership, Alibaba.com said, “They say reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It’s a pity that many deserving, curious children and youth in our country do not even have access to good quality reading material. This very thought led us to conceptualise the Mission Million Books initiative. Our endeavour is to provide good quality reading material to as many youngsters in the country as possible. In a short span, now over 700,000 books have been collected and donated impacting close to 2.5 million students across more than 2000 institutes in India. We are grateful to everyone for supporting us on this journey.”
About the initiative, Rajiv Mehta, Trustee, Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust said, “Mission Million Books is a really noble initiative, seeing the reactions of the teachers and students is so fulfilling. It’s also interesting to see the involvement of people, we get calls and requests from across the country for donating books.”