50 books in 3 months: 8-year-old British-Indian boy Milan Kumar wins accolades for his precocious reading habits

50 books in 3 months: 8-year-old British-Indian boy Milan Kumar wins accolades for his precocious reading habits

The COVID-19 enforced lockdowns in countries around the world have led to people using their time to learn new skills, cook up a storm or even tap into talents they didn’t even know they possessed. For eight-year-old Indian-origin Milan Kumar in the United Kingdom, the lockdown presented the chance to further enhance his love of books and reading. The young boy earned himself a congratulatory note from none other than the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles for completing a 50-book, year-long lockdown reading challenge in just three months. The Bolton School Junior Boys' School, where Milan is enrolled, came up with the 'Blazer Black Belt Challenge' to encourage boys to read during the COVID-19 lockdown. Milan’s mother Daxa told Connected to India that she started reading books with interesting pictures and textures to her son from when he was three months old and allowed him to enjoy looking at mirrors and pictures of faces, recognising shapes and colours. “He would begin to make sounds, reach out and touch the pictures. He had a deep connection with books from an early age, reading books before he started school aged four,” Daxa said. Born in the United Kingdom, Milan is of Gujarati heritage, with his grandparents having migrated to England in the 1960s from India and Kenya. Milan, in fact, has close ties with Viraval Village, a part of the Navsari Nagarpalika located in south Gujarat with fond memories of playing cricket and football in the streets with his friends when he visited. In ...
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