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Balbharati opens its doors to allow people to access rare textbooks

The state textbook office, Balbharati, opened its doors to the general public on Tuesday. With this, the Pune-based office, which produces textbooks for all public schools in the state, has allowed people to browse its massive collection in eight languages ​​– Marathi, Urdu, Hindi, English, Telugu, Kannad, Sindhi and Gujarati – at a nominal price. from Rs 20 per day.

The collection includes an 1823 textbook of chemistry, a collection of maps that show the ever-changing geographical history of India and the world, reference books on different subjects, and several sets of encyclopedias. It also includes national and international children’s magazines, maps and other educational materials, including reference books on different subjects.

Apart from textbooks from Maharashtra, those from other states are also available for reference.

“This is a great opportunity for interested researchers, teachers and even students. Until now, this collection was only available to Balbharati members working on curriculum development. It was a place of research. But now everyone will have access to it in our Pune office,” Balbharati Director Krishakumar Patil said.

This vast collection has more than 1.55 lakh of textbooks. Then there are research books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, children’s literature and a range of rare books.

Kiran Kendre, editor of Kishor, a Balbharati children’s magazine, said: “Balbharati was launched in 1967, but the textbooks were available for many years before that. An old math textbook shows how the subject was taught at a time when math tables of fractions, such as Pavki (1/4ths), Nimki (1/2s), Didki (1-1/2s) were used in sums . We can also see the evolution of new subjects such as IT and the environment. This is not just a peek into history out of nostalgia, but a huge treasure that Balbhari has preserved for so many years.”

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Kendre added that access will be limited to the library in Pune.

“We cannot yet start a conventional library practice where people are allowed to take a book home. Indeed, some manuals, research papers or even maps are so old that they must be handled with the utmost caution,” he added.


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