Starting today, on the 4th Saturday of every month, Write Tribe will bring you positive and inspiring stories from all over the world. If you have positive stories to share, do post them on your blog and add the links to the linky below. We’d love to read them and highlight them too.
I’m happy to be kicking off this new venture, talking about my favourite subject – books!
Changing Lives Through Books
In her book, Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile, author Gloria Houston’s writes about a person who made a difference to her life and many others in her area :
Dorothy Thomas was one of the my heroes as a child. Her little green van with a fresh batch of books would arrive every 2 weeks at the store my family operated. During alternate weeks, she would drive into the school yard. I checked out new books from her every week.
The rural area where I lived had no library buildings, but residents there were avid readers. Mrs Thomas stored the combined library collections of Avery, Mitchell and Yancy counties in her basement, carrying them up and down the stairs each morning and night. Many of my contemporaries from the area have told me that she was one of the brightest spots in their lives. Everyone remembers the tiny woman with great fondness and how she touched their lives, though no one living today seems to know where she is buried. There is no monument on her, no stone with her name on it. Her memorial is the love of books she engendered in the lives of her patrons, young and old.
As a young girl, Miss Dorothy’s dearest wish was to be a librarian in a fine brick library just like the one she used to visit when she was small. But, after marriage, her new home, in North Carolina, had valleys and streams but no libraries, so Miss Dorothy and her neighbours decided to start a bookmobile. Instead of people coming to a fine brick library, Miss Dorothy could bring the books to them – at school, on the farm, even once in the middle of a river.
While Miss Dorothy’s story is from a long time ago and from a far off place, we have a Miss Dorothy closer home in Bhopal!
Muskaan Ahirwar might be all of 9 years old but the power she wields in her tiny little hands can transform lives and change society for the better. For at the tender age when children are still only busy in the playground, this little one has opened her own library and is a librarian to all the children in her slum.
She runs Bal Pustakalaya, a library for children in the slum area at the back of Rajya Siksha Kendra (State Educational Centre), in Arera Hills, Bhopal. The story of this young librarian and future inspiration for others, started in December when a team of State Education Board visited this slum at the back of their office on New Year’s Day. They gave about 25 books to children to share and read. They held a question-answer round to know more about the education of children. Muskaan won the quiz and the hearts of officials who decided to give her the responsibility of educating other students in the slum, which she happily accepted. Later, on Republic Day, more books were provided.
Every day, after she gets home from school, at 4 pm she sets up her library for the children from the slum outside her house on a mat. The children eagerly wait for her to open the library and as soon as she does they surround her to listen to her stories and read their own books. She maintains a register for her small library. Sometimes she is helped by her elder sister Neha Ahirwar, who is a Class 7 student.
Till date, a total of 119 books have been donated to the library by the Shiksha Kendra and the children have finished reading all the books! Not only that, Muskaan has ensured that her studies are not affected and constantly ranks first in class!
She’s a true inspiration to all the children of the library and the pride of her father, a carpenter and her mother, a housewife. She’s an inspiration to all of us too. Kudos to this little girl for being a true example of how just one individual can change a society.
We all are proud of this little girl.
Do you have a postive and inspirational story you would like to share with us today? It may be an old post, or one that you are inspired to write today or over the next few days. Add your post to the linky below and read, comment on and share the posts of others. The linky will be open until our next #InspiringStories post is up.
Source for Muskaan’s story and images India.com and Indiatimes.com