Today, India is celebrating National Reading Day on June 19. The day is celebrated to honor of P N Panicker, the father of the Library and Literacy Movement in Kerala. However, this year's celebration is special as National Reading Day 2021 marks the silver jubilee of celebrations.

Since June 19, 1996, the P N Panicker Foundation has been observing the national reading day, reading week, and reading month. Amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the P N Panicker Foundation has organized activities that motivate reading online. The national reading day and ‘digital reading month’ celebration would begin today, June 19, 2021, and will continue till July 18, 2021.

The national reading day will be celebrated in collaboration with the government, ministry of education, NITI Aaayog, national digital library of India (NDLI), the government of Kerala, P N Panicker Foundation and P N Panicker Vigyan Vikas Kendra along with other stakeholders.

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How do we celebrate this day

Generally, the Government of Kerala and the P N Panicker Foundation observe week-long activities at schools and colleges. Several schools across the country conduct different competitions at their own level to honor P N Panicker. The reading competitions for college students involve activities like quizzes, open art, debate and teachers, librarians and faculty are also involved in the tasks.

However, this year all these activities will be held online due to coronavirus condition in the country. Just like last year, activities will involve a Digital Reading Pledge, webinars and a reading competition for school students.

History

June 19, 1996, marks the beginning of a movement to promote a culture of reading to inculcate the habit of reading. The movement promoted book-mindedness among school children, youth and the unprivileged population of the country.

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Who is P N Panicker

Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker, born on March 1, 1909, is known as the ‘Father of the Library Movement in Kerala. He initiated several activities that triggered a popular cultural movement in Kerala.

He passed away on June 19, 1995. Since then his death anniversary is celebrated as Kerala Reading Day. The Kerela Education department observes ‘Vayana Varam’ (reading week) from June 19 to 25 every year. 

Later, in 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared June 19, Kerala’s Reading Day as National Reading day in India. Following this, the next month which is July, is celebrated as National Reading Month in India.

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