National Reading Day is annually observed across India on 19th June to mark the death anniversary of Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker(PN Panicker), who is fondly known as the Father of the Library Movement in Kerala. The observance aims to encourage the habit and culture of reading and to promote literacy.
- The day is observed as a tribute to the effort of PN Panicker to transform society with his literacy movement in India.
19th June 2023 marks the observance of the 27th Reading Day.
i.On 19th June 1996, The government of Kerala, in association with the P N Panicker Foundation, initiated the state observance of Reading Day.
- The day was observed as a mass movement to promote literacy and the culture of reading in Kerala.
ii.The P N Panicker Foundation and P N Panicker Vigyan Vikas Kendra have been observing the Reading Day, Reading Week, and Reading Month Celebrations since 19th June 1996.
iii.In 2017, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi declared 19th June of every year (Kerala’s Reading Day) as National Reading Day in India.
PN Panicker & his efforts:
i.PN Panicker was born on 1st March 1909 in Alappuzha, Kerala. He passed away on 19th June 1995.
ii.PN Panicker founded Sanadana Dharma Library in 1926.
iii.He led the formation of Thiruvithaamkoor Granthasala Sangham (Travancore Library Association) in 1945 with 47 rural libraries. It was later renamed as “Kerala Granthasala Sangham” in 1956, following the formation of Kerala State.
- Grandhasala Sangham was honoured with the ‘Krupsakaya Award’ from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1975.
iv.He also founded the Kerala Association for Non-formal Education and Development (KANFED) in 1977. KANFED played a major role in Kerala State Literacy Mission.
- Kerala became the 1st State in India to achieve Universal Literacy.