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National Reading Day 2023: Date and History

National Reading Day 2023

The National Reading day commemorates the death anniversary of PN Panicker, widely recognized as the ‘Father of the Library Movement’ in the state of Kerala. The day is observed on 19th June every year. Through his leadership in the Kerala Grandhashala Sangham, he spearheaded various initiatives that sparked a cultural revolution in Kerala, leading to the achievement of universal literacy in the state during the 1990s. This day serves as a tribute to PN Panicker’s tireless efforts in transforming society through his literacy movement in India. PN Panicker, revered as the Father of Reading, passed away on June 19, 1995. He was the founder of the Sanadana Dharma Library, which played a pivotal role as the epicenter of the library movement in Kerala.

Reading is a crucial activity that offers numerous benefits, including relaxation, learning, concentration, and the improvement of communication skills. In an era before the dominance of the internet and television, reading served as a primary medium of communication. National Reading Day, observed on the anniversary of P.N. Panicker’s death, pays homage to his visionary ideals, immense passion, and unwavering dedication to promoting reading as a catalyst for personal and societal development. The day encourages individuals to embrace the pleasures of reading, delve into the vast knowledge contained within books, and acknowledge the transformative impact of reading on individuals and communities alike.

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History of PN Panicker

PN Panicker played a pivotal role in establishing the Travancore Library Association, which eventually evolved into the Kerala Granthshala Sangham (KGS). This association comprised 47 local libraries and aimed to promote education at the grassroots level.

Following the formation of the state of Kerala in 1956, the KGS network expanded to include an additional 6,000 libraries across the state. Under PN Panicker’s guidance, the KGS network gained significant recognition and acclaim, even receiving the prestigious UNESCO Krupsakaya Award in 1975. PN Panicker’s leadership was instrumental in the growth and success of the KGS network, which played a vital role in fostering education and literacy throughout Kerala.

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