The cause of education is core to the Essar Foundation, and most of its activities are oriented towards enabling children to read and increasing learning ability. In November this year, the Foundation joined hands with three Indian NGOs – Pratham Books, Teamwork and the Bookaroo Trust – to celebrate a children's literature festival in Delhi. Called 'Bookaroo in the City', the Essar Foundation was the principal sponsor of the programme that takes books and authors to schools, especially schools for disadvantaged children.
From November 8-23, 2011, Bookaroo in the City travelled to more than 85 schools in Delhi, Gurgaon and the National Capital Region (NCR), providing a platform for children to interact directly with writers and illustrators.
The schedule included storytelling sessions, poems and singalongs for the younger students, quizzes and even a little bit of music. A session by a cartoonist at one of the schools had the children learning different illustration techniques.
The two-week extravaganza of book-related events culminated in a three-day interactive literary festival at Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi. Pioneers in children's literature, such as Anupa Lal, Tapas Guha, Deepa Agarwal, Mala Kumar and Tanya Luther Aggarwal, along with international authors such as John Dougherty, Satoshi Kitamura and Adeline Foo, were part of the event.
The event was attended by more than 15,000 children and received wide media coverage.