There is no library in my locality, where I could go to study books. I cannot purchase a books as these are two expensive, indeed there is a school library in my village but that is meant for my school children and I cannot enter there to read any book.
These are few queries, which were raised by an elderly man of my locality who is very fond of books.
In fact things have changed, even little towns and villages have turned high tech and busiest places where internet and other domestic facilities are very much available to its people.
There one can see little restaurants, departmental stores, and fast-food outlets emerging at a very fast speed, but what is missing at these busiest places, little book shops and little community and village libraries, where people interested in book reading could avail the book reading facilitates.
On the other hand, with the expansion of internet and social networking sites, the book reading culture has also decreased considerably. Still there are lovers of books who are always in search of a good book. Indeed in cities and large towns books are very much available on the book marts but these are expensive and people in these times of inflation are hardly enable to buy necessities, how can they manage to buy the costly books.
In these conditions, where book reading traditions has got many challenges, a youth from south Kashmir’s Kulgam is bringing people towards book reading culture and has helped to set up many domestic libraries and aims to set up more in future. Hailing from Kulgam’s Akipora village, he turned his passion into a mission and conceptualized setting up of domestic libraries and continues to work on the concept. From childhood, Ishfaq Manzoor, was passionate towards book reading and libraries.
While not seeing a public library in the neighborhood he got very much disturbed. He suggests that every home should build a domestic library so that youth develops reading habits instead of falling prey to different social evils. After doing a lot of foot work on this idea, Ishfaq motivated many people to build domestic libraries. It is learnt that he has set scores of libraries within his own community and involved community, including his relatives and friends, across his neighborhood to establish domestic libraries.
It was for this concept that he received the Global Teaching Excellence Award (GTEA) 2022 for contribution to libraries, community education and social work. Since childhood he used to visit the public libraries and he felt the need to setup domestic libraries to create and promote an environment of book reading. He has also become a source of inspiration for many people for his efforts in community education, moral teachings, exemplary social work as well as for the innovation in the field of libraries.
Unfortunately, the reading habit is on the decline these days, especially among the new generation. The advent of internet led to a certain negative impact on almost everybody, but especially teenagers and kids. They have become more materialistic and they get little time to go through books, newspapers, and magazines.
The chief goal of people these days is to earn money, and not acquiring knowledge. Ishfaq requests people to set up domestic libraries just like you purchase different kinds of latest electronics gadgets like mobile phones, computers, and furniture for you houses.
It would motivate children to read books from early age. It is not necessary that you build a big library instead you may build a small or a very small library at your home. When youngsters get involved in reading books instead of sticking to their mobile phones and other electronic gadgets, it will encourage and send a message that reading is an essential part of family life besides schools and colleges.
He says libraries are the best source of knowledge. The books and journals or any other printed material is trusted source of information. The information on internet platforms may be misrepresented, incomplete, fake or not reliable.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.