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Unique book-giving project unveiled in India

20 March 2019

Students at a local school in India

Chow Tai Fook and Touch A Life Foundation visit impoverished villages in India

Naresh Surana (left) founder of Touch A Life Foundation, and Chow Tai Fook representatives pose with school children in India


Books for Change, a charitable initiative spearheaded by jewellery industry players to provide books to impoverished students, was unveiled in India recently.

It is part of a larger philanthropic move – the Touch A Life Foundation Hong Kong Ltd, founded by diamond dealer Naresh Surana.

Books for Change was launched in partnership with jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd during a trip to India on March 15 to 16. Surana's group, together with representatives from Chow Tai Fook, visited remote villages in India, including four schools. 

Books for Change is envisioned to support more than 3,000 students in 30 schools through the donation of 28,000 books, according to Surana.

A unique component of Books for Change is the use of a portal that tracks the movement of donated resources. Each student is registered in the portal, assigned a QR code and given a Touch A Life card. This ensures that every student is accounted for and the resources reach the intended beneficiaries.

“Those 48 hours in India were a roller coaster of emotions. We not only distributed books but also visited the students’ homes, met their families and got a closer look at their lives,” Surana noted. “We heard their pain and saw their will to fight all odds to make a better life.”