Started in 2006 by Tom Stader, who was struck by the lack of quality education for children in Southeast Asia and China, The Library Project, with the help of donors, builds libraries for primary schools in remote villages in China. Shelves or furniture are also donated. Existing space to create a reading room or a reading corner is utilised. To date, 269 libraries have been completed and over 150,000 books donated.
Since February 2011, the Tata Sons Beijing office, along with a few Tata companies in China, has been supporting the project. Jaguar Land Rover China has, in the past, donated three libraries. The initiative offers Tata employees a chance to participate either in book collection or in donating their own books.
The first initiative saw Tata Sons Beijing office and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Hangzhou jointly donating a library to Changchun Primary School in She Xian, Anhui. The Tata Sons Beijing office and TCS Beijing also jointly donated a library to Sanying Primary School, in Luanping county, Hebei province. Tata volunteers not only donated over 600 books, but also pens, rulers, toys, desks, chairs and bookshelves. They assembled bookshelves and desks, categorised the books, and made a completely functional reading room with their own hands.
James Zhan, chief representative of Tata Sons China, says, “The desire to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live constantly leads Tata companies to give back to society in various ways. This mission exemplifies our commitment to the local community.”