When a child is young, often he/she is not encouraged to develop the reading habit – in so many ways – No set times to read, no living examples of the reading habit – Parents don’t read, no good book or magazines at home, too much concentration on the electronic media and mediums like the smartphone its instant messaging apps etc.
This trend has troubled us, the Karnataka Today team for a long time now. It even came up at one of our shareholder meetings, no less. Taking the discussion forward, a shareholder, CA Valerian Dalmaida, suggested to the management team “why don’t you take it up as a mission?. “ And we did.
We brainstormed the problem and came up with the #ReadKarnataka Mission that went by the tagline – from readers to leaders! At its heart was the objective of instilling a love of reading in our children/youth. But we realized reading random stuff does not help the cause. The reading habit should be founded on what is relevant, interesting, and improves vocabulary and learning. The Karnataka Today monthly English magazine we thought is an ideal fit.
So how did we do it? We requested first, our shareholders, and then all youth well-wishers to support the movement by sponsoring annual subscriptions of our monthly English magazine Karnataka Today for students across the state – either chosen by them or us – mainly from Government schools. We offered these sponsored subscriptions at a subsidized rate of Rs: 150 per subscription (Normal is Rs: 300 – we absorbed 50% of the subscription value as our contribution to the cause) and the response was overwhelming.
This overwhelming response was led by our shareholder, CA Valerian Dalmaida himself. Over the last year, he has sponsored 660 subscriptions for students across the state.
Here is what CA Valerian Dalmaida said when he first offered to sponsor student subscriptions under the #ReadKarnataka mission, “ We must instill the love of reading in children and the best way to do that, to my mind, is give them a good but relevant book or magazine to read. It’s a gift that can give so much pleasure over its lifecycle because it is like no other – It can be opened again and again, unlike other gifts. Karnataka Today I feel is the perfect gift as it carries a mix of reading material that will interest the youth, and enhance their knowledge and vocabulary because its content is rich and its layout aesthetic. I will continue to support this mission; it is a fantastic initiative and is my small contribution towards a knowledge society”. We were humbled and touched by his support for this cause. His was the first and then the flood gates opened.
About CA Valerian Dalmaida
CA Valerian Dalmaida a B.com graduate from Mysore University, a Fellow Member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, a Certified Support Manager from California, USA is currently working as Group Head of Support Services with Al Ain Holding LLC, Abu Dhabi. He is also a shareholder in Spearhead Media Pvt Ltd., the owners of the publication “Karnataka Today’.
He started his practice in Mangalore in 1984 and was sought after by many of today’s successful entrepreneurs for his financial advice on how to fund and manage their start-ups. Not many may know that he was the project consultant for the now defunct (then very successful) Udayavani rival newspaper, “Janavahini”. Always a positive media proponent, he has always espoused the cause of positive journalism whenever and wherever he has got the opportunity, the last one being at our studios in Mangalore in a discussion with Dr. Shivanand, the proprietor of the popular Puttur Daily – Suddhi Bidugade – Available on our youtube channel Newskarnataka.com under the NKTv brand.
CA Valerian Dalmaida moved to Abu Dhabi in 1991 and is popular among the Mangalorean community there, irrespective of caste or creed and that is his strength – his secular and solution finding approach to people and issues. He is also a popular community leader, a good organizer, speaker, and does a lot of social work for his less fortunate brethren, silently.
He is the member of Abu Dhabi Chapter of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Advisor to the Emirates Suratkal Parishioners Association (ESPA), Bare Foot Counselor(BFC) from St. Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi, Patron of Daivik Amrith, a monthly magazine from the Diocese of Mangalore and associate of www.konkanibible.org and has just been re-elected as the President of the Konkani Cultural Association (KCO), the premier Konkani organization of Abu Dhabi for the second time in its history of 24 years.
Besides CA Valerian Dalmaida, Praveen Shetty of Fortune Hotels, Deepak Verma, Founder and CEO of WannaGo Cloud Services, and CA Sudhir Kumar Shetty, former President – Global, UAE Exchange, among others, have extended support in a big way.
The reading habit - better than most habits
Reading opens the door to a vivid imagination. It takes you to places you’ve never been, and may never visit due to your circumstances; it helps you meet new people, understand their fears and tears and what makes them / made them tick. It schools you, upgrades your vocabulary and helps you succeed academically, socially, professionally and even to some extent economically.
In addition, the reading habit can
• Advance your intelligence: It has been proven that those who have a reading habit often show signs of advanced Intelligence levels. With an abundant amount of genres, books and magazines open the mind to use new words and embark upon a whole new world of word usage.
• Make you think: If you have a reading habit, you are forced to think about what you read or have read, not just focus on your immediate surrounding. As your intelligence and creative side develop from reading you will be able to come up with smart solutions to everyday problems.
• Help reduce stress: Reading a good book / Magazine is the perfect way to reduce stress and have a quiet, peaceful time without leaving the comfort of your home.
• Advance your vocabulary: Advanced vocabulary will help you communicate better, both orally and through the written word. If you communicate better than the rest among your peers, you will be noticed, selected, elected, nominated and propagated for positions of influence and leadership; you will be able not only to fulfill your own dreams but maybe, the dreams of so many others.
• And finally, it’s a habit that is better than most: Last but not least, a reading habit is better than most other habits – it prevents an idle mind from being the proverbial devil’s workshop and it opens the door to a new adventure with every turn of a page.
Sustaining this mission:
We need to sustain this mission for noble, not commercial reasons. Therefore this appeal for support from each of you reading this article. You can support this mission by sponsoring as many students' annual subscriptions to Karnataka Today as possible. It’s noble, it's useful, it's healthy, it's easy and it's discounted. Just Rs 150 for 10 issues (Students generally have a 2-month summer break) of Karnataka Today (a wholesome window to the world of Karnataka) for one student (there is no cap on the number of subscriptions you can sponsor, though we recommend a minimum of 300). Team Karnataka Today hopes you will donate liberally- individually or as Company registered under the CSR Provisions of the Companies Act 2013 (Clause II of Schedule VII - Promotion of Education).
Use the link http://imojo.in/9l7e7s for easy remittance (INR only) or remit through the banking network for transfer of funds: Account holder’s name: Spearhead Publications Private Ltd; Current A/c no.002512100007963; The Bharat Co-operative Bank (Mumbai) Ltd (Mangalore Hampankatta Branch); IFSC Code: BCBM0000026.
Following your remittance, do send the team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp on +91 82177 29859 to enable them to cross-link the payment and conclude the transaction. The team will then send you a list of students supported in his/her reading habit by your funds. Alternatively, you may specify the students/schools/colleges you would like this popular magazine to reach. Reach out to us for any clarification in this regard.
Visit www.karnatakatoday.com to know more about the magazine and its contents. You can also reach out to the team on the above WhatsApp number or email address for any clarification in this regard.
“Reading is weightlifting for the brain” - Tim Green.
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