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The Missile Man of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Wikimedia

October 15, 2016: The birthday of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be celebrated as “Maharashtra Reading Day” in the state, Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced here on Saturday. ”Kalam’s writings had vision… He always mentioned that India is going to be a super power, visualised it and wrote in his books which have inspired an entire generation,” Tawde said at function in Crossword bookstore to mark the event.

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Hundreds of colleges in the state organised their own reading day programmes, literary and poetry meetings, reading corners and other events to mark the scientist-turned-politician Kalam’s 85th birthday anniversary. Tawde said that “Maharashtra Reading Day” would inspire children and the younger generation to make reading a habit which is getting challenged with the advent of cellphones and other devices at an early age.

“The children tend to emulate their parents, and it leads to cellphone addiction as early as two years of age… We must now think of declaring a ‘no-gadget day’ as well,” Tawde said in a lighter vein, while appreciating Crossword’s “ILoveReading” initiative. Earlier today, in a state government programme, Tawde distributed 100 “talking book” volumes to 21 schools for the visually-handicapped in Maharashtra, prepared in collaboration with National Association for Blind (NAB).

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Later, he presented sets of 100 books to 21 readers’ groups at a function in Gokhale Education Society College in Borivali to mark the day. The first-ever Maharashtra Reading Day was commemorated by reading sessions in 100 colleges across the state conducted by top writers and public figures and they took part in lively literary debates conducted with the students. Kalam, revered as the peoples’ President passed away after a cardiac arrest on July 27, 2015, in Shillong. (IANS)


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