RAI Symposium in Kolkata


symposium was convened by the Reading Association of India (RAI), Eastern Region on December 4, 2022 at Gobra United Athletic Club Auditorium, Park Circus, Kolkata to sensitize the young people about various outstanding issues like illiteracy, poverty, gender discrimination, etc. Participated by students and youths from nearby areas, the deliberation in the symposium attempted to create an atmosphere conducive to promote reading habit among the students in particular and the people in general.

The symposium was started with the welcome address delivered by Shri Apurba Chatterjee, Convener of the Symposium and the Coordinator of the Eastern Region of RAI. Thereafter, eminent sociologist Dr. Manjari De who was the Chief Guest of the programme spoke about utilizing resources for the upliftment of people at large. She said that both knowledge and experience generate power which needs to be harnessed by the people for the betterment of the society. Speaking on the occasion Prof. Asoke Bhattacharya, President of RAI, elaborated the objectives of the RAI. While quoting examples from the life and work of Paulo Freire he tried to explain how Freire's literacy methods enabled the neo-literates of Brazil to pave the path of democracy in the South American nation.

The symposium was concluded with an interactive session presided over by a well-known litterateur and novelist Shri Sirajul Islam, in which participants raised a number of queries and sought clarification about a few contentious issues. The proceedings of the symposium was conducted by Shri Swapan Banerjee, a reputed journalist.



Reading Association of India
organized the Asian Literacy Conference in Mumbai during January 28& 29,2016. The theme of the conference was: Role of Information and Communication Technology in Promoting Reading and Developing a Learning Society. Smt. Kallolini Hazarat, President of the RAI extended a warm welcome. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. David Turner, Treasurer and Electronic Communication Secretary, World Education Fellowship Guiding Committee, London .His inaugural address on “Creativity, Imagination and Reading in a Learning Society” set the tone of the conference. Prof. S. Y. Shah, Executive President of RAI & Director, International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education, New Delhi, India chaired the inaugural session.

. There were four key note addresses:
Prof. (Dr.) M. M. Pant gave a keynote address on “Using Mobile Technology to promote reading with comprehension’. Prof. GajarajDhanarajan, Chairman Board of Governors, Wawasan Open University, Malaysia gave a keynote address on” Creating Learning Communities: Tensions Amidst Information Technology, Market, Forces, Social Good and New Pedagogies”. The third key note address was by Dr. Ramesh Sharma, Education Consultant, New Delhi, India on “Learning Society and ICT: Going beyond School and Creating Communities of Connected Learners”. The fourth key note address was by Prof. C. B. Sharma, Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling, New Delhi, India on “Decoding the Politics of Word”.
The conference had a unique panel discussion by four NGO’s – 1) The Navjot Foundation Charitable Turst (2) Sakhi for Girls Education (3) Antarang Foundation (4) Aseema Charitable Trust. The Panel Presentation was chaired by Mrs. Sangeeta Gole, Advisor, State Accreditation and Assessment Committee, Maharashtra.
The conference was attended by about 200 participants from India and abroad.
Smt. Kallolini Hazarat welcoming the guest
Audience of the conferenceProfessor.
S.Y. Shah,Executive President addressing the conference.



The International Literacy Association encourages its member schools to initiate an awareness of the importance of literacy. This drive was spearheaded by the school students, for the literacy-challenged class. It was launched in the month of July 2016.

The staff and the students of our school decided to spread this awareness in as many ways as possible, at different age levels through various mediums.

The students of standards IX and X took on the mission of EACH ONE –TEACH ONE. Each student took upon himself/herself the responsibility of teaching the unskilled domestic staff the basics of reading and writing. This in turn, would help them become more savvy. The students were asked to maintain a proper report of their work which was periodically monitored by their supervising class teacher.

Beside this they were also encouraged to make POSTERS and POWER-POINTpresentations on the importance of literacy, on which they were graded.

StdsVIII and IX participated in STREET PLAYSon the theme of spreading literacy. Children belonging to the underprivileged strata, studying in municipal schools and NGOswere invited as audience to watch these plays. Each of them was given a small functional gift to take back home.


The students of stdsVII in the meantime had taken great pains to prepare audio-visual stories with a strong social message for stdsIII and IV, in order to instil in them the invaluable importance of literacy.

Finally stds V and VI created interesting novellas of value-based pictorial stories forstds I and II which were then presented to them at the end of this drive.
  Leadership Workshop Delhi (October 12, 2009)  
A one-day Leadership Workshop jointly organised by International Reading Association - India in collaboration with Indian Adult Education Association, New Delhi was held at The Deck, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi on October 12, 2009. The participants were members of International Reading Association - India and invited guests. The workshop was presided over by Shri K.C. Choudhary, President, Indian Adult Education Association.Mr. Sakil Malik, Director, International Development Division, International Reading Association, Washington, DC in his introductory remarks briefed the participants about International Reading Association, its structure and role in the field of education.
The first plenary session was addressed by Prof. Maryann Manning, Professor, Curriculum & Instruction Department, School of Education, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham on the topic "Reading Comprehension : A Worldwide Challenge". The second session was address by Prof. Ambigapathy Pandian, Dean, School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang on the topic "Leadership Qualities for Effective Management of Reading Council/Association". The third session was addressed by Ms. Emigdia (Emy) Montiel, Program Officer, International Development Division, International Reading Association, Washington, DC on the topic "Developments in IDAC and IRA".

The first post lunch session was addressed by Mr. Sakil Malik on the topic "Beyond Access : Early Grade Reading" which was followed by Ms. Janeen M. Haase, Senior Program Manager, International Development Division, International Reading Association, Washington, DC on the topic "Teacher Peer Mentoring : Macedonia Case Study". Thereafter, National Affiliate Overview was presented by Prof. S.Y. Shah, Vice President, Indian Adult Education Association on India Reading Association and by Mr. Sharad Babu Shrestha on Nepal Reading Association. Dr. Madan Singh, General Secretary, Indian Adult Education Association proposed vote of thanks.
  Leadership Workshop Kanyakumari ( Dec. 2009 )  
The 58th All India Adult Education Conference was held at Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari from December 11-13, 2009. The theme of the Conference was "Youth and Lifelong Learning". More than 300 delegates from all over India attend a three day Conference. The programme included inaugural session, seven plenary sessions, group work (seven special interest groups on various topics) and valedictory session. One plenary sessions was devoted to organisational presentations, another one fro International Reading Association and rest for academic paper presentations.
In the second plenary, Ms. Rizalina “Sally” C. Labanda, Director of Saints Peter and Paul Early Childhood Center, Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines and Educational Consultant for Scholastic International-Philippines gave an introductory lecture about programme and activities of International Reading Association (IRA). She said that the mission of the IRA is to promote reading by advancing the quality of literacy teaching and research across the globe. This session was presided over by Prof. S.Y. Shah, President Elect, Reading Association of India.
  Leadership Workshop Indore ( October 28, 2010 )  
A one day Leadership Workshop was organised by the Reading Association of India at Shri Jaigovind Gopinath Higher Secondary School, Mhow, Indore, Madhya Pradesh on October 28, 2010 in collaboration with the International Reading Association, Washington.

The main objective of the workshop was to promote reading. Around 200 teachers participated in the workshop. Dr. Patricia A. Edwards, President, International Reading Association was the Chief Guest.
After vandana rendered by the music teacher of Shri Jaigovind Gopinath Higher Secondary School, the welcome address was given by Dr. V. Mohankumar, Director, Indian Adult Education Association.

In his address he spoke in detail the linkages between literacy, education and development, growth of elementary, secondary and adult education in India, major adult education projects implemented in different plan periods and Saakshar Bharat - Mission 2012 in the XI Five Year Plan to achieve 80 percent literacy rate, reduction of gender gap in literacy to 10 percent, reduction of regional, social and gender disparities and coverage of 15+ age group in the programme. He also explained the physical targets to be achieved in Saakshar Bharat before March 2012. In her presidential address Dr. Patricia A. Edwards, President, International Reading Association said that IRA plays an important role as the leading organisation in the field of education to teach the world to read.
It has 85,000 members all over the world comprising teachers, specialists, supervisors, coordinators, curriculum directors, educational administrators, literacy teachers, teacher educators, researchers, parents and students. She further said that IRA builds the community through annual conventions, regional conferences, world congress and state, national and international conferences and making the voices heard through education funding, NCLB and reading first, adolescent literacy and teacher preparation.


According to Dr. Patricia the strategic goals of IRA are professional development of educators worldwide, advocacy for research, policy and practices that support the best interest of all learners and reading professionals, partnership by establishing and strengthening national and international alliances with a wide range of organisations and support research to promote informed decision making about reading practice and policy.

Dr. Patricia concluded her speech by inviting the participants to join IRA to make the world community read. Ms. Emy Montiel, Programme Officer, International Councils and Affiliates, International ReadingAssociation spoke on "Leadership". She said that leadership is the process of directing the behaviour of others towards the accomplishment of common objectives and influencing people to get things done to a standard and quality above their norms. She also said that effective leaders know that they have followers, results are counted more than assurances and it is not the rank or privilege or titles or money but the responsibility which matters.

She differentiated the leader from the boss by stating that the boss says "go" and the leader says "let us go". She concluded her speech by calling the teachers as leaders as they treat the students as equals and make them leaders of the future. Prof. S. Y. Shah, Group of Adult Education, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and President Elect, RAI while introducing the Indian Reading Association said that elementary education is important as it is the foundation for the children to acquire further education in their life. Eventhough, education has become the fundamental right of the children in India, still a large number of school going children are outside the school system for various social reasons. The teachers in the government schools are paid well with service security but they are yet to attract the children to schools and retain them to complete atleast 8th standard so that they do not relapse into illiteracy.

At the same time, the schools run by the private managements are able to attract a large number of students and most of them come out with flying colours. Prof. Shah appealed to the teachers to become the members of the RAI or IRA so that they get the opportunity to participate in the meetings, seminars and conferences which provide a lot of opportunities to share knowledge and experience of others and receive books and other reading materials to improve their academic knowledge and capability. Shri Kailash Choudhary, President, Indian Adult Education Association and Reading Association of India in his address gave a detailed account of the role of NGOs in the education sector, particularly in the field of literacy and adult education. He said that Indian Adult Education Association consistently supported all the literacy initiatives taken by the government in the Five Year Plans and also mobilised the NGOs through writings and conferences to extend their support to the programmes apart from taking part in the same.

He further said that the role of teachers is to shape the destiny of the students and hence, they must play their role with much care. They should be the role models for the students which will go a long way to make them grow faster and also in the right path. Shri Choudhary appealed to the teachers to strengthen their academic excellence by reading books and materials on various topics and share their knowledge in the classrooms so that students get the benefit. On behalf of Reading Association of India Dr. Madan Singh, General Secretary, Indian Adult Education Association proposed the vote of thanks while Shri Champa Lal Yadav, Secretary, Education Committee, and Brig. K.I. Balasubramanian, Principal, Shri Jaigovind Gopinath Higher Secondary School proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of their school.
  Leadership Workshop Kolkatta (October 22, 2011)  
A meeting of the Reading Association of India (East Zone) was organized by Prof. Asoke Bhattacharya, Coordinator, Eastern Zone, RAI at Abanindra Sabhagriha in the premises of Kolkata Information centre, Govt. of West Bengal on October 22, 2011. Around 70 persons attended the meeting. The main objective was to orient the potential members about the activities of the International Reading Association (IRA). The meeting started with vandana by Ms. Santwana Chatterjee. The welcome address was given by Prof. Asoke Bhattacharya which was followed by a brief presentation on the activities of the Reading Association of India (RAI) by Shri K.C. Choudhary, Chancellor,International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education and past President of RAI. Subsequently, Prof. S. Y. Shah, current President of RAI spoke about the future activities of the Association. Prof. Alok K. Banerjee, Vice Chancellor, University of Kalyani presided over the meeting.

In his presidential address he spoke in detail about the importance of reading and desired the Reading Association of India to play a key role in the promotion of reading in India. Dr. Merlene Mercado Alon, Chair,International Development in Asia Committee and past President of the Reading Association of Philippines gave a detailed presentation on the activities of the International Reading Association. After Ms. Priyanka Sen and Ms.Runu Ghosh rendered Rabindra Sangeet, the meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Shri Sujit Kr. Datta.
  Leadership Workshop Chennai ( February 29 - March 01, 2012)
A two day UGC National Seminar on "Engaging Human Resources for Sustainable Development"was jointly organized by the Department of Adult and Continuing Education and Department of Management Studies, University of Madras on February 29 March 1, 2012 at Thanthai Periyar Hall in the University Campus. After the guests and participants were welcomed by Dr. N.V.R.K apali, Professor & Head, Depar tment of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Madras, the inaugural session was addressed by Dr. G. Thiruvasagam, Vice Chancellor, University of Madras, Shri S. Gopal, Managing Director, Chemplast Sanmar Ltd., Chennai, Shri Gajendra Verma, Emeritus Professor, School of Education, University of Manchester, UK, Dr.R.Prabakaran, Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences Universi ty, Chennai.
All of them stressed the importance of humanr esources and how to engage them for sustainable development. Thereafter, the Southern Chapter of International Reading Association of India was launched in which Dr. Merlene Mercado Alon,current Chair of International Development in Asia Committe e and the past President of Philippine Reading Association made a presentation on the International Reading Association to orient the potential members from Chennai about the activities of IRA.

The session waschaired by Shri K. C. Choudhury, past President of Reading Association of India (RAI) who spoke on the role of IRA in promoting reading habits among students and adults.
Professor S.Y.Shah, the current President of RAI gave a brief overview of the activities undertaken, the need to enroll more members from different parts of the country and importance of initiating researches and publications. Dr. G. Thiruvasagam, Vice Chancellor, University of Madras extended full support to the Reading Association of India and said that such organizations can play a crucial role in developing the learning society. Dr. P.T. Srinivasan, Professor & Head, Department of Management Studies proposed the vote thanks. The business session was presided over by Dr. Bhaskaracharyulu of Andhra University in which several papers were presented by eminent professors and scholars from various universities. Dr. L. Raja from Gandhigram Rural University, Gandhigram was the Rapporteur. The valedictory function was conducted by Dr. Raghunanthan Jayaraman, Chairperson and the concluding address was delivered by Dr. Gajendra Verma. Dr.S. Nithyanandam Sastry conducted a Quiz pro gramme for the M. Astudents of Human Resources Management on skill enhancement.
  Leadership Workshop Mumbai ( June 16, 2012 )

A one day Workshop on Reading Association of India was held at Navnit Shah Auditorium, Khar, Mumbai on June 16, 2012. Research Society and Chairperson, Jasudben M.L. School presided over the function. Gujarat Research Society is in the field of social service, community development and education for the last 75 years and has grown from strength to strength under the able leadership of Smt. Kallolini Hazarat who has taken a number of new initiatives because of which Jasudben M.L. School has reached a pre eminent position in the city.


In view of her commitment to educational initiatives and open to new ideas, Smt.Hazarat immediately accepted the proposal of Prof. S.Y. Shah to organize a workshop for the school teachers and administrators to introduce the International Reading Association/Reading Association of India and invited not only the teachers of Jasudben school but also the Principals and teachers of ten nearby schools also.

The Chief Guest of the workshop was Prof. S.Y. Shah, President, Reading Association of India and other guests attended were Shri K.C. Choudhary, Past President, Shri. H.C.Parekh, President Elect and Smt. Kalpana Kaushik, Member, Reading Association India


Prof. S.Y. Shah in his presidential address spoke in detail about the International Reading Association, its aims and objectives and the vast range of benefits one can gain by becoming a member to access diverse resources ranging from lesson plans, educational aids and latest educational technology and publications. According to him IRA is spread over in 93 countries and hence, one has the opportunity of interacting with educators and students almost all over the world

Smt. Doris Saldanha of Jasudben M.L. School who attended 57th Annual Convention of International Reading Association at Chicago, USA from April 29 to May 2, 2012 while endorsing the views of Prof. S.Y. Shah said that she had gained a lot from the Convention as the experiences shared by others cannot be available anywhere. She further said that eventhough, the convention was attended by 9000 delegates but one thing common was their commitment to education. The presenters were experts in their own fields with long years of hands on and minds on experience. Smt. Doris Saldanha also praised the organizers of the Convention for the huge exhibition put up in which leading publishing houses exhibited a large variety of books and materials which was educational to all the participants. She profusely thanked Smt. Kallolini Hazarat for sponsoring her to attend the convention.
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