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‘Kitabon Wali Didi’: MP Teacher Lauded by PM Modi for Ensuring Education for Underprivileged

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Popularly known as ‘Kitabon Wali Didi’ among kids, Usha Dubey, a government school teacher in Waidhan town in Singrauli district has ensured that education continues for kids without access to online classes throughout the 1.5 years of COVID-19 led school shutdown. The dedicated teacher was appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann KI Baat’.

A government teacher since the year 1998, Dubey had turned her scooter into a mobile library soon after the nationwide lockdown was announced in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Armed with books on stories, poems, and general knowledge, the teacher used to go door to door to ensure students don’t lose on language skills and reading habits.

Even after the covid-19 first wave ebbed last year, the teacher did not stop her innovation and has been continuing the project till now. “Last year, I had started Mohalla Classes asking students to gather at one place and read but when Covid-19 had peaked in April and May this year, I had stopped gathering kids and visited their houses to offer them books”, said Dubey.

“At times, I noted down their named and handed them books so that they could read at home and return the books later,” she added.

As schools weren’t opening, Dubey had made an arrangement with the kids that they handed over their books to juniors after passing any particular class. Around 30-35 kids exchanged books with each other, said the school teacher.

The school teacher has around 200 books in her kitty which she takes to students on her two-wheeler. She also helped out kids in case they needed support in their regular academics.

Now that schools have resumed in Madhya Pradhesh, Dubey would visit kids with her library on holidays as she needs to attend the school regularly.

“Kids’ response has clearly shown that they have developed a passion for reading,” she said.

“Till now, I devoted three-four hours daily interacting with kids in the field with my mobile library, she said proudly sharing that inspired by her project, local schools have started decorating libraries for encouraging students to learn and department officers have also asked schools to encourage kids to spend time in school libraries,” said Dubey.

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