In an initiative aimed to save trees, all state-run schools in Tamil Nadu are set to start ‘book banks’. The School Education Department has ordered all government and government-aided schools to start collecting old books from students passing out this academic year. These books will be distributed to students in the upcoming academic session.
According to a report by The Times of India, Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation gets around 40,000 tonnes of paper to print 8 crore textbooks for students in class I to XII. Around 8 lakh trees are cut every year to print 8 crore textbooks. The move to introduce book banks is expected to save around 2 lakh trees every year, as per the report.
The initiative was introduced as per the order of National Green Tribunal, the apex green body. A similar initiative was introduced last year by the Delhi government. The state’s education department had asked its schools to collect old usable textbooks from students of all classes and form book banks. The books were then provided to children from underprivileged backgrounds through School Management Committees, reports DNA.
In November 2018, the Education Department in Punjab issued a formal order to over 19, 500 government schools to set up book banks. The department ordered students till Class VIII to be provided with books. Moreover, they were also provided with expensive textbooks and guides for senior classes contributed by students, teachers and even outsiders, reports The Tribune.
Interestingly, Rajasthan Youth Association, a volunteer organisation based in Chennai, has been running a book lending project since 1963. The group provides textbooks to college students who cannot afford books. Over the past five decades, this organisation has helped more than one lakh students, reports The Hindu.