How do community libraries serve rural youths of Jharkhand? Read on

An initiative of Jamtara DC, community libraries have replaced old, dilapidated panchayat or school buildings lying unused for years, writes Mukesh Ranjan.

Published: 17th July 2022 08:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2022 07:29 PM   |  A+A-

A community library Jharkhand’s Jamtara

Express News Service

JHARKHAND: Dilapidated buildings, which once housed panchayat offices and schools and have been lying unused for several years now house community libraries.

The libraries are set up in 118 panchayats of Jharkhand’s Jamtara. Local block, panchayat and district level officials offer free career guidance classes for candidates appearing for competitive exams.

A brainchild of Jamtara Deputy Commissioner, Faiz Aq Ahmed Mumtaz, these community libraries encourage students to land government jobs. Police officers conduct guidance classes on Sundays. Civil administration officials join in on Wednesdays.

Faiz Aq Ahmed Mumtaz said these libraries work as coaching centres for underprivileged students who would like to compete in various entrance exams.

“We have so far organised more than 15,000 guidance classes in one year to help the candidates who cannot afford to go to nearby towns for coaching and tuitions,” he noted. The guidance classes have helped many students, especially girls, succeed in getting jobs, he pointed out.

Block Development Officer (BDO) posted at Nala Block Kaushal Kumar is a mentor. He says a roster is prepared for those who are willing to devote time for students coming from rural and humble backgrounds.“The hand-holding gives students an idea where they should focus more,” says Kaushal Kumar. Such seniors get the satisfaction of doing something good for society, he said.

Karmatand BDO Md Azfar Hasnain says the hard work gone into making these libraries meaningful has started paying off as three candidates recently cleared the Jharkhand Civil Services Examination from his block. Sub-inspector Ramesh Rajwar, posted at Town Police Station in Jamtara and has conducted guidance classes, says the students are motivated just by the presence of officers in their classes.

ALSO READIn a first, all 118 panchayats of Jharkhand’s Jamtara district have libraries

Suman Mandal is one such student who has attended the guidance classes regularly for eight months at the community library in Panjunia panchayat. He was selected for the post of operator-cum-technician at Bokaro Steel Plant.“After completing my diploma in electrical engineering from Ranchi, I returned home, but I did not get the environment for preparing myself for competitive exams. After I came to know about the library, I became a regular there,” said Suman Mandal.

Gautam Modi is another successful student selected for Jharkhand Civil Services Examination. He admires the initiative taken by the Deputy Commissioner, saying it helped him a lot in preparing for the exams.

“After I returned from Delhi during the lockdown, I joined the library classes, which helped me a lot in clearing the state civil services tests by securing the 19th rank. “A community library provides an amicable atmosphere for studies and helps in developing a circle of aspirants which further helps in clearing doubts in studies,” says Modi.

According to information available on the library website, if anyone is interested in donating books, chairs, tables, or any other amenities to these libraries, they can approach the person concerned.


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