Malaysia’s Isha Vidhya well-wishers make a huge haul with their book drive for Isha Vidhya kids, and send 92 boxes filled with books.

Last year’s wonderful book drive conducted by Isha Vidhya’s Singapore well-wishers has inspired the Malaysian volunteers to conduct a book drive of their own. Isha Vidhya schools recently received a massive shipment of 92 boxes filled with books.

The Malaysian meditator took inspiration from the 2012 Singapore effort and reached out to her contacts through email, put up a notice on her personal blog and spread the word about the book drive.

How the drive began is an interesting story. A meditator from Malaysia (who wants to remain anonymous) was extremely moved when she heard that a very poor family in Tamil Nadu saved for a month in order to contribute one book to the Isha Vidhya school library. Their resources were meager, but they saw the benefits of the education their child was receiving and were so filled with gratitude that they wanted to pay back…somehow.

The Malaysian meditator took inspiration from the 2012 Singapore effort and reached out to her contacts through email, put up a notice on her personal blog and spread the word about the book drive. Her family and friends got into the spirit and forwarded the email to everyone they could think of. The drive took off in a big way when people posted and reposted the information on their social media pages.

The response was tremendous. Strangers started calling with offers to contribute books. For six months, the volunteer went around Malaysia, sometimes driving to other states, to collect books from people who had offered to donate. Many people donated cash, which was used to buy more books.

Some of the contributors we have permission to mention are: Inner Wheel Society of Kuala Lumpur (who donated literary sets), a publisher from Petaling Jaya (who contributed 2,000 workbooks), Isha Singapore meditator Shyamsunder, Isha Penang meditator Nadesh, Satheesh of M/s Triton Logistics & Maritime Pvt. Ltd in Chennai (who helped with the shipping), Suresh in Chennai (who helped with custom clearance) and Dazzie (who sponsored the entire cost of shipping the consignment).

The work did not stop there. At the receiving end, a group of volunteers came together to sort out the books and divide them to be further sent to the nine Isha Vidhya schools. Volunteer Ram Kumar says, “I was privileged to be involved in segregating the books that we received for the second time. The variety and the volume of the material that arrived was amazing. It’s exciting to open every box and see what people have donated. Very often they are new items specifically chosen for the children. It makes me very happy to know that our children at Isha Vidhya will benefit from greater exposure.”

Isha Vidhya thanks each person involved in this long chain of events. The students love and cherish the books – thank you!

Editor’s Note: You can also run a book drive in your colony, city or country. Collect used or new, children-appropriate books, and send them to Chennai or Coimbatore. For more information, please contact: asmita.sinha@ishavidhya.org.