GUWAHATI: In the remote India-China border town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, young people believe the pen is mightier than the sword and they put their minds at work.
To inspire the locals to read books, they turned masons and carpenters and built a community library by dismantling an old and dilapidated government structure. In the tribal societies of Northeast, the youths are usually very skilful.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, a local, was effusive in his praise of the students.
“Students from #Tawang worked together to build this beautiful #CommunityLibrary. The entire construction work of reinforcing, shuttering, carpentry, masonry, roofing etc were all done by students. Due to hardworking environment, average youths here possess such work skills,” he tweeted sharing some photos of the library.
Students from #Tawang worked together to build this beautiful #CommunityLibrary. The entire construction work of reinforcing, shuttering, carpentry, masonry, roofing etc were all done by students. Due to hardworking environment, average youths here possesses such work skills. pic.twitter.com/5phHnh7OhW— Pema Khandu པདྨ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་། (@PemaKhanduBJP) November 8, 2020
The work was executed in 40 days under the watchful eyes of the All Tawang District Students’ Union (ATDSU). Some 15 university, college and school students had lent their service. There is a “district library” in the town but the ATDSU said it could not cater to all citizens.
“Tawang being a remote district, books are a rarity here. We also observed that not many people read books these days. So, we wanted to inspire them to get back to their reading habit and develop it among youth,” Pema Tsering, who is a student leader and in-charge of the library construction committee, told this newspaper.
Built at a cost of around Rs 6.5 lakh, the library is half concrete and half wooden with its roofing done with CGI sheets.
“We spent from the union’s fund and received assistance from well-wishers. We had approached people for help. As work progressed, help started pouring in,” Tsering said.
It will not be like any other library in the state. It will primarily have inspirational books, comics etc for children. Many students have started donating used books. Some social media users and others expressed the willingness to donate books, Tsering said.
“We have no doubt the youth will get inspired and develop the habit of reading books. We will hand the library over to the state’s education department for its better management,” he added.
It was decided that the library will be named after former Chief Minister, the late Dorjee Khandu, as a tribute to him for his contributions to Arunachal’s overall development.