Bhubaneswar: The 3rd edition of “Ama Pathagaara” – an initiative by Ollywood actor and activist Varsha Priyadarshini, was held in Government Primary School, Jagasara Adivasi Sahi, on Sunday, 11th April 2021. As part of the initiative, Varsha donated a cabinet full of a variety of books, ranging from educational to children’s fables, to the students of the school.
Late Shri Dasarathi Patnaik, fondly known as Dasia Aja, was the pioneer of the library movement in Odisha. Starting out with only 5 books in a trunk, Dasia Aja overcame poverty, little education and lack of facilities during his life long journey to collect books, magazines, antiques and other memorabilia. He eventually set up a museum cum library at his village in 1959, which now houses 1.5 lakh books and periodicals, palm leaf manuscripts, paintings and other research materials.
Varsha Priyadarshini, through her initiative “Ama Pathaagaara” is trying to re-ignite the library movement pioneered by Dasia Aja. Through the initiative, she plans to collect books and magazines from enthusiastic donors across Odisha and beyond, and donate them to disadvantaged people, particularly children, all over the state. By doing so, she aims to encourage setting up of libraries in each district of Odisha, just as Dasia Aja had envisioned. She has already collected and distributed hundreds of books through the initiative.
During the event, Varsha stressed on the importance of education in a child’s life and counselled all the students present to aim to complete their formal education at any cost. She also inquired about and empathised with the students’ predicament due to the situation brought about by the pandemic. The students in turn shared their dreams with the actress and also delighted her with a couple of cultural performances. All Covid19 related precautions mandated by the state government were strictly followed during the event.