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Business News/ News / National Reading Day: History, significance, and other details
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National Reading Day: History, significance, and other details

National Reading Day: Every year the nation observes the day to mark the death anniversary of PN Panicker. A revolutionary in the world of education, Panicker is famously known as ‘The Father of the Library Movement in India’.

661-01961573 Model Release: Yes Property Release: No High angle view of a girl reading in the grassPremium
661-01961573 Model Release: Yes Property Release: No High angle view of a girl reading in the grass

It is often said that ‘Books are the window to the world’ and people who are constantly reading can't agree with the adage anymore. Reading not only enhances one's knowledge but helps in improving communication skills and inculcates holistic development. To remind people about the value of reading books even in an era dominated by the internet, National Reading Day is observed on 19 June this year.

The day marks the death anniversary of PN Panicker, who is famously known as the ‘Father of the Library Movement’ in Kerala. He encouraged various activities under the Kerala Grandhashala Sangham that triggered a popular cultural movement in Kerala that produced universal literacy in the state in the 1990s.

Significance of National Reading Day

The day is a tribute to the effort of PN Panicker to transform society with his literacy movement in India. The Father of Reading passed away on June 19, 1995. PN Panicker founded Sanadana Dharma Library which was the centre of the library movement in Kerala.

Other than the celebration of National Reading Day on his death anniversary, the Ministry of Education in Kerala also observes a reading week known as Vayana Varam from June 19 to 25 every year. Panicker was also the founding figure of the Kerala Association for Non-Formal Education and Development (KANFED). KANFED was involved in enhancing literacy rates and education awareness in rural areas.

The movement and its impact on the state are reflected in India's literacy survey, where Kerala stands as one of the states with the highest literacy rate. His efforts foster the culture of reading and encourage individuals to celebrate the joys of reading and explore the wealth of knowledge in books.

History of PN Panicker

PN Panicker initiated the Travancore Library Association, which later got to be known as Kerala Granthshala Sangham (KGS). This association included a total of 47 local libraries and focused to promote education at a grassroots level.

After the foundation of Kerala in 1956, the KGS network expanded to 6,000 more libraries in the state. PN Panicker's leadership brought a lot of name and fame to the KGS network, it even won UNESCO Krupsakaya Award in 1975.

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Updated: 19 Jun 2023, 08:21 AM IST
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