Inspiration

Read How This English Teacher in The Remote State of India is Trying to Bring Joy of Reading to Children

Apoorva Chakravarty
Read How This English Teacher in The Remote State of India is Trying to Bring Joy of Reading to Children

Ms Timita Mungyak is the founder-convenor of Lathao Youth Library in the Namsai District of Arunachal Pradesh, it is a unit of Lohit Library Network developed by Padma Shri S. Mundayoor.

Ms Mungyak has been a teacher for 19 years now. A native of Arunachal Pradesh, she has been actively involved in activities focusing on the promotion of reading among local children in the Lohit Valley districts since 2003 and is acting as a mentor of Lathao Youth Library since 2008. Being a senior & experienced English teacher for middle to high school, she recognises the difficulties and importance of reading among the young students of her area. Today, the library is supported by volunteers, the state government, local leaders and the community itself.

Ms Mungyak’s students belong to the backward and underprivileged classes of the community, who come from miles away to attend the school. It’s interesting to see how she plans reading activities for kids that aren’t just fun to attend but also focus on developing their comprehension power and skills and help them go beyond bookish-academics. 

She tells ScooNews, “Mr Mundayoor, who is fondly known as Uncle Moosa, is the backbone of the library network. He has helped uplift the community and its children in this remote state of India. In fact, Mr Mundayoor has been recognised nationally for his work in the library movement. It is his relentless pursuit to bring happy reading & learning for the children that inspires me every day.”

Ms Mungyak herself, coming from the Khamti tribe of Namsai district, had a difficult childhood and strove during her student years because of the language barrier. In most parts of Arunachal Pradesh, there is no usage of English while interacting, it is either their mother tongue or Assamese and Hindi that’s used to communicate with people of different dialects. However, now that a majority of schools’ curriculum is being converted into English medium, she understands how difficult it can get for the local students. Hence, a lot of her time is spent mentoring these kids to learn, read, write and speak this foreign language. She explains, “Though it is very challenging for the teachers as well as the students, our objective remains strong, to battle the language barrier and enable the children to learn life skills. We will keep working tirelessly towards it.”

Her work with Lohit Library Network includes:

  1. Organising book exhibitions 
  2. Showing educational and learning-friendly films in schools of Namsai District
  3. Planning and executing Teachers’ Training camps for Namsai govt. teachers
  4. Promoting Joy of Reading lectures with Lohit Libraries

Ms Mungyak’s love for her students is visible as she shares their stories with us, one of which is about the time when they went for a museum trip. “These children from Namsai were taken to the RIWATCH museum in Dibang valley. On the way, they saw rivers, bridges and mountains which is not common in Namsai. It was the first time these children went on such a trip and explored a museum. Until then they had only read about museums in books. I also noticed how excited, happy, and amazed they were seeing people from another culture. That day was surely an enriching trip for all of us.”

Ms Mungyak says her fondness for reading and mingling with children was a given bonus and probably the biggest motivation behind choosing teaching as her profession.  

Educators like Ms Timita Mungyak are a positive influence on other teachers and a guiding light for their students. Do you agree?

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