A first-person account by P.S. Nandini, student reporter at YOCee on The Keni Project that she and her team of friends set up after her project became the winning entry at the Changemakers’ Conference organised by The Debate Club in July 2013.
YOCee congratulates Nandini on her winning the Changemaker award and records appreciation for her creative idea and compassion towards children from the underprivileged section of our society.
Here is how Project Keni was launched, in Nandini’s own words:
Books are windows to the soul. The Keni Project, a student initiative, aims to provide multiple windows by setting up small libraries using second-hand books in schools where the need is felt.
The Keni Project was born out of The Changemaker’s Conference 2013 held at Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidhyashram, Kilpauk. The Keni Project was inaugurated on Nov. 25, 2013, at R.K.Swamy Auditorium, Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Senior Secondary School by Shri. J. Ajeeth Prasath Jain, Senior Principal, Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidhyashram.
The event guests included Ms. Ragini Srinivasan, Counselor, Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidhyashram, and Ms. Latha, Administrative Officer, Karpagavalli Vidyalaya, Mylapore. Dr. (Smt.) Vatsala Narayanaswami, Honorary Joint Secretary and Treasurer, Dr. (Smt.) Prema Kasturi, Secretary, Ms. M.S.Jaisree, Principal –in charge, Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya and Ms. Jashoda Sundar, Vice Principal-in charge, Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya also graced the inaugural function.
‘The Keni Project’ banner was unveiled by the chief guest Shri. J. Ajeeth Prasath Jain. In his address, he spoke about the importance of realising that books are also a medium of learning, in an era dominated by technology. As a sign of the inauguration of the Keni Library at Karpagavalli Vidyalaya, a book hamper consisting of second-hand books collected for the Keni Project was presented to Ms. Latha, Administrative Officer, Karpagavalli Vidyalaya by the Keni Team. Ms. Ragini Srinivasan awarded the official position badges to the five core members of the Keni Team – Sanjana Ganesh, Dravina Sreenivasan, Meera Viswanathan, K.S. Jayaraman, and I, Nandini P.S.
Ms. Ragini Srinivasan briefed the audience about the activities of The Debate Club including The Bait and The Changemaker’s Conference. This was followed by the address of Ms. Latha, Administrative Officer, Karpagavalli Vidyalaya, who spoke about the usefulness of cultivating a good reading habit and about Karpagavalli Vidyalaya which is the first school to be selected under the Keni Project to provide the students with books to read.
The Keni Project aims at collecting second-hand books and newspapers from the public and using them to set up the libraries in identified schools. The collected books will be directly installed in the library, while the old newspapers will be sold at the newspaper marts and the money used for buying needed books.
Anyone willing to donate books may contact the Keni Project team at firstname.lastname@example.org