I see a lot of people selling books to kabadiwala or Raddiwala (People who buy second hand items) as you say.We hardly think about donating it or giving it to needy.Private & Public Schools and publisher created a nexus to force student to buy new books and not to reuse old.This result in heavy profit to publisher and good commission to school but a big burden to parents who cannot afford costly books.I am going to discuss how you can donate books to needy people so that we can save some money for them and contribute to the society.
Lets see first what is the problem?
On an average parents spent approx 5,000-10,000 Rs to buy textbook for lower and upper classes.Every school follows their own standard books so you can’t use same book for all schools.Every school forces student to buy book of a certain publisher or authors.Publishers on the other hand knows people will not buy their books if they will not changes few things in every edition, so they change it every year and republish it.This lead in parent to buy new books every year.Some school even forces student to buy new book only.The problem is clear nexus between publisher and school.Publisher pays a good amount to school to include their books in the curricular. This is very similar where a doctor gets commission from a pharmacist company and in turn prescribe their costly drugs for residential drug rehab only. When parents do not have option to use old books they ultimately sell old books to raddiwala at a very small amount.Instead of it we should have use the book for at least 3 years on rotation basis.
What we need to do?
- Talk to school – Parents needs to take forward step.If school forces you to buy new books only , you should ask why.We have right to know.If they ask you to follow books of a certain authors only, you need to know why.Please do not blindly follow orders.If we can reuse books, why not.If school says there are few changes from last edition, ask them what is changed.If it is just one or two chapter, school should provide the change items/materials instead of buying a new one.
- Donate books – Never ever sell textbook to raddiwala.There are lot of needy people around you.Contact local NGO,put it to notice board,contact your maid,driver, or security guard (see if they need it),reach to local government school, offer it free on OLX(or other free listing website) and many more to reach needy.Donating it to poor is much more useful than to get Rs 100 for whole book.
- Donate other books – Not only textbook you can also donate book like General knowledge, competitive exam book etc even if it is old.80 percent of items never changes.Contact OLX,Sulekha like free services to donate it online.You can also put it on your college or company notice boards.
- Use social media – Social media nowadays play an important role to engage people.Parent can donate books even by it.You can use media like Facebook,twitter and forums to talk to parent and donate books.
- Find some time – We all are busy with work, but that does not mean we can’t find time.Even if you afford new books find some time to talk to school management.Until we will raise the voice, school will continue to make life difficult for poor people.
- Do not make Xerox – Making a Xerox copy of original book is illegal and may lead to legal action.Never do it yourself or encourage it.
- Use ebooks – Not all books but we have ebooks available for few publication.Use it wherever possible.It saves you money and is eco friendly.
- Keep the book in good condition – Check how your kid is using the book.If you want to donate book at the end of the year make sure it is in good condition.
The Road forward:
We have this common problem in India where we blindly follow people.We never ask why.Just because our father or neighbors followed it, we are doing the same.Ask question.If school is forcing you to buy a specific books, ask the reason.Even if you can afford it, think about other people who have difficulty in buying it.The most important point is to create a group of parent and talk about it.Just imagine if we can use the same book for the next year.You do not have to spend money for it and have to run different sellers or shops to search books.Every senior student will be a like a mentor to junior and will donate book to him/her.This will solve a big problems for parents and students.If you Like this idea then please do share your views about it.
I would like to end this post with this wonderful Idea from Idea ad: