By Siddhi Jain
November 14, 2020 (IANSlife) This Children’s Day is special for Kolkata, as the culturally-rich city gets its first ever children’s tram library -- also the first in the world of its kind -- giving access to children across age groups and segments to pick and read their favourite book while on the move.
This young readers' tramcar is an initiative by West Bengal Transport Corporation and Apeejay Anand Children’s Library team. The beautiful library on wheels decorated with attractive artworks of children reading, hand painted by local artists housing books across genres for young readers adorning its shelves rolled on its first trip to encourage and inspire children to read and experience the joy of reading.
Making literature available to one and all as the driving focus this year, Oxford Bookstores, had curated the selection of titles and literature across various young reading age groups for the Kolkata Young Reader’s Tram Car. Yearlong activities for children on board the tramcar, such as story telling dramatised readings, poetry sessions, book launches, music and more are also on the cards, to captivate young minds.
The Kolkata Young Readers’ Tram Car was launched virtually by Rajanvir Singh Kapur, MD, WBTC and Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group.
Kapur, MD, WBTC, said “The idea behind the Kolkata Young Reader’s Tramcar is that all children should get access to read good books and what better than the Kolkata trams! The tram would run on Shyambazar Esplanade and Esplanade Gariahat routes spanning North to South of Kolkata and there would be no ticket for children and Kanyashrees (18 or below) in this tramcar. People more than 18 can surely enjoy the tramcar as well, at normal AC tram fares. We thank the efforts and zeal of Apeejay Anand Children’s Library team to associate with this project, implementing it at super lightning speed. It is truly a great Children’s day gift for Kolkata."
According to Priti Paul, “as a group deeply vested in both the heritage and progressive future of Calcutta/Kolkata, we are delighted to partner with the WBTC in this novel venture of ‘Kolkata Young Readers’ Tramcar’ which encompasses both. The Apeejay Anand Children’s Library on a tram will, perhaps be the very first Children’s library on a tramcar anywhere in the world, with free access to all children of our city. We believe that a library is essential to every child’s holistic development, and that knowledge and books are game changers enhancing the future of each child. Reading and learning on the move will undoubtedly augment their recreational environment, and we are committed to facilitate this."
The Kolkata tramways have been operating since 1873 when the maiden tram took off with horses. In 1880, the Calcutta Tramway Company was formed in London which is now called the WBTC that runs the only existing tramways in India.
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Siddhi Jain can be contacted at email@example.com