Swapping books and other fun stuff in the spirit of green! April 1, 2012

Today’s afternoon was well spent at Gurgaon’s Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park attending a unique event that called upon us to carry our old books there, swap them and participate in a range of workshops geared at promoting a more sustainable and enriched lifestyle.

For me, the event was a super success. I managed to give away 45 books of mine (and mum’s) that occupied space on the shelf (I chose ones I didn’t enjoy too much or the one-time read variety, but all in good condition). In return, I got to choose 11 other books I haven’t yet read!

I didn’t go in expecting much and was pleasantly surprised to see the event was well organized, using volunteers from the city (who all wore green!). Things were kept super simple. For example, swaps were done by giving contributors simple hand written chart paper coupons which they needed to hand over to the volunteer at the desk from where you picked up the books you wanted to take away (one coupon for each book you could get). Similarly we got a coupon for each workshop we had pre-registered for. My children both attended a story telling session. And Udai learnt to make a bird house at another workshop which he attended with his grandmother and another friend. Other workshops included drawing, art appreciation, theatre¬† and creating stuff from waste material. A lot of parents we already knew happened to be there and the children were happy, despite the heat, in the wide open spaces and greenery that the campus offers. Aadyaa ran around, tried all the swings and was her usual monkey self!

I was heartened to see that a lot of the books sent in as well as picked up were for children. The event swarmed with kids of all ages, especially many teenagers. A few kids managed to read the books they picked up during the event and reswap them before they left! In fact, the event was free of charge and a lot of stress free and clean fun for all age groups. A great way to subtly send across messages that remind us to respect nature, indulge our creative side, do our bit to conserve energy and simply be more responsible human beings. Events like this go a long way in building a community of interested citizens. Kudos to the organizers for the efforts and hope for many more….

Books waiting to be taken home...the system was simple. You sorted the books by genre into boxes at the counter you drop them at, then they appear at another table to be picked up!

Workshops were organized by experts- enjoyable and well attended

And the book is to consumed with immediate effect-Aadyaa with Nani!

And there was an entire park of swings and jungle gyms right there....

Dadi, Serena and Udai make a bird house


About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on April 1, 2012, in Personal and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great event! I’m also swapping in USA, mostly DVDs, CDs and books.

  2. Hi! thanks for the feedback,its reiterates our belief that we are on the right track

  3. Great article, very inspiring. I’m a swapping addict as well, not just for books though. I love barterquest.com because they simply let you trade anything for anything. I’ve always been happy with it.

    • thanks! swap is a realtively new concept in Indian cities, though recycling has been a traditional thing here. changing family structures and lifestyles have disrupted the old practices and we’re just getting on with setting up new systems of swapping and other community activities oriented towards conservation of resources…

  4. This is such a great idea and sounds like the event was a grand success. Kudos to the organisers and all who participated and enjoyed. Bringing back to nature, ecology, encouraging creativity, hands on work, enabling grandparents and grandkids to spend time in the open air and doing interesting stuff together….awesome!!! Wish there was something like this in Chennai too. Would be wonderful to replicate in other cities. Swaps are a great way to encourage the habit of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Would love to know of indian sites/organisations that do good work in this area.

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