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A club for mixed minds

A school teacher by profession, Sandeep Doifode from Valpoi started Mixedminds Book/Movie Club with the aim of making reading popular among the younger generation. NT KURIOCITY gets more details

RAMANDEEP KAUR

About two years back, school teacher Sandeep Doifode came up with the idea of Mixedminds Book/Movie Club to instill the love for reading among the younger generation.

“Reading has become an ‘uncool’ thing that the modern generation tends to do away with,” he says.

However, he says, in the age of technology, sometimes it becomes almost impossible to take in the amount of information we are bombarded with through different platforms that exist today. He thus believes that it’s imperative that children read as that is the only way they can get a wider perspective.

And this is exactly the purpose of the club which primarily targets children in the age group of 11 to 17 years of age. “We always have a moderator who presents on the book/movie. Other than that it’s just all the members sharing their views on the book/movie,” he says.

The club has members from across Goa and their meeting point is Panaji. They decide on a place on their WhatsApp group/Instagram page. The WhatsApp group has around 41 members. The members of the book club are mostly students and friends. Doifode says: “Not all of them are avid readers but that’s the beauty of it. I have members who know the importance of reading and want to make sure that they try. They love the experience – it’s just us getting together and talking books and movies. They love it.”

Coming up with the ideal name for the club however took awhile. “The one thing I was certain about was that it had to be something that would give out the idea of inclusiveness. And Mixedminds basically means different minds coming together and discussing a book or a movie. There are different perspectives. The name was suggested by a good friend named Amrita Iyer,” he says.

In the past, the club they has had sessions where students performed poetry, drama, music, etc. It has also been heartening to note that youngsters, who have never read, have now begun reading books. “Last year, a student joined my book club and read To ‘Kill A Mockingbird’. That was the first book he had ever read and guess what? He continued with the book club,” states Doifode. The club is also hoping to start with poetry writing and creative writing sessions soon.

“It’s really a great feeling because the enthusiasm with which they come for every session is exactly why the book club exists,” adds Doifode.

Besides the club, Doifode’s ultimate dream is to start a library in his village. The idea for this came to him after he came across a picture of a library in a small village in Africa that was sent to him by his friend. “My village is in a wildlife sanctuary (Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary). It’s surrounded by dense forest. With problems of roads and transport, the younger generation tends to not continue with their education. The government has been doing absolutely nothing about the problem. That’s why, I want to open a library in my village and encourage all the children from the village to read good books and watch good cinema,” he says.

(Mixedminds Book/Movie Club will hold its next session on July 6 on the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ at Myles High Bakehouse Café, Patto, Panaji. Membership to the club is free)

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