Women are the helm of every field which affects their families directly or indirectly. Though many may not come out in the open to show their strength, there are those who make a difference by voicing out their concerns loud and clear to bring about social change. In Goa, many women social activists have brought a huge change to the state through their efforts. Cafe pays a tribute to a few who have been constantly working towards their goals
Sujata Noronha is the director of Bookworm, a library in Taleigao which received the Goa State Best Library award. A literacy educator with extensive experience in literacy instruction and children’s literature, Sujata and her all women team have been tirelessly taking books to children in schools and various communities. Starting out with the library along with Elaine Mendonca over a decade ago, her team is now 20 members strong. Bookworm runs three programmes, the Bookworm library, the school programmes and the Mobile Outreach Programme. “What really keeps us going is that children are interested in stories and books and more importantly when there is a teacher opening and reading these books to them. That gives us the motivation to see the enthusiasm of the children. We cater to children in schools as young as five and half years old whereas in the Mobile Outreach Programme, we even have pre-schoolers who are three years old,” says Sujata.
Noticing the trend in the last ten years on how children are offered entertainment and technology over books, Sujata feels that reading should be given more importance. “Reading is an important part of their lives and it has been proven by cognitive research studies that watching on screens either on the mobile, tab or the TV, can hinder the motor movements of the child. There is very little eye movement when they are staring at the screen compared to reading a book where their eyes would move up, down and left and right,” explains Sujata.