I love coming across odd little stories about notebooks. This one taught me that a “lakh” is 100,000 in the Indian number system. I also had no idea that it was customary to celebrate politicians’ birthdays with extravagant gifts. It’s nice to see that someone turned that tradition into something that would benefit school children:
Minister of state for home Satej Patil’s initiative to accept only notebooks as his birthday gift makes for a welcome change from the extravagant birthday celebrations by politicians. Patil, who collected more than 5.5 lakh notebooks on his 39th birthday on April 12, plans to distribute them to the students of the schools run by the Zilla Parishad and the civic bodies in the district.
Since 2007 Patil instead of accepting garlands, flowers, installing posters or issuing advertisements, accepts only notebooks as his birthday gifts. So far 16.27 lakh notebooks have been given to 3.80 lakh students in 380 schools.
“Generally supporters install huge posters, issue advertisements in newspapers and gift garlands and flowers to politicians on their birthdays. It is just a waste of money. So, since 2007 every year I appeal my supporters to bring notebooks instead of garlands or other gifts. The initiative has received a good response,” Patil said.