Balbharati opens its doors to allow people access to rare textbooks

The state textbook office, Balbharati, opened its doors to the general public on Tuesday. With this, the Pune-based office that produces textbooks for all state government schools, has allowed people to go through its massive collection in eight languages: Marathi, Urdu, Hindi, English, Telugu , Kannada, Sindhi and Gujarati, at a nominal price. of 20 rupees per day.

The collection has a textbook of chemistry from 1823, a collection of maps showing the ever-evolving 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 various topics.

Along with Maharashtra textbooks, other state textbooks are also available for reference.

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

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

Kiran Kendre, executive editor of Kishor, a children’s magazine of Balbharati, said, “Balbharati was started in 1967, but textbooks were available for many years before that. An old mathematics textbook shows how the subject was taught at a time when tables of mathematical fractions were used, such as Pavki (1/4ths), Nimki (1/2s), Didki (1-1/ 2s) in the sums. You can also see the evolution of new subjects such as IT and the environment. This is not a simple nod to history for nostalgia’s sake, but a huge treasure that Balbhari has kept for so many years.

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

“We cannot yet start a conventional library practice where people can take a book home. This is because some of the textbooks, research material or even maps are so old that it should be handled with utmost caution,” he added.

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