Mauripur UC resorts to rubbishing books -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Mauripur UC resorts to rubbishing books

Karachi:Mauripur Union Council management threw bookshelves along with books from the rooftop which were destroyed after rains and scorching heat.

The administration was disappointed over the lukewarm attitude of the readers and did not care the valuable books.

Reportedly, the UC’s former management set up a reading room for the area people, but unfortunately they did not announce it publicly. Thus they received no response from area residents. It was the only effort as there was no public library in the entire neighbourhood of Mauripur, Grex, Mowach, Keamari and other urban and suburban areas.

As different sources were approached, it was learnt that there had been no library in the entire town jurisdiction. No political and intellectual groups had ever emphasised the need for forcing the management to launch any reading room in their areas so that people, especially students could have easy access to newspapers, magazines, and books for seeking fresh information.

A former councillor belonging to Mauripur said: “There may be the lack of readers and creative people in the area but the UC reading room should have continued.”

The town and union councils may have funds for running libraries like social welfare, health and education but they manipulate certain funds for their personal gains, he added.

However, it was learnt that even President Musharraf’s Devolution of Power Project has no concept for promoting libraries at the grassroots level. All the UCs have the same position about the concept of libraries.

Mohammed Suleman from the Keamari neighbourhood said: “There is no concept of libraries in the area, where majority of working class people resides. Labourers are engaged in factories and port activities. Fishermen go out to the open sea and are eager to see their children to be fishermen instead of getting any job in another field.”

“There are no proper schools for children. Being a main part of the metropolitan city, Keamari received a college in 2002, which needs more funds now to run its affairs properly. The authorities have sent 200 books for Government Keamari College Library this year, which would be encouraging for the students and teachers,” he added.

In fact developing information technology and electronic media has affected the overall reading habit but some readers believe that launching of more newspapers and magazines in different languages negates this notion. The technology does not affect the reading habit. A large number of students and professionals visit libraries for getting references to help their research work and professional skill in the city libraries.

Ameer Abro, publisher and the author of three books, said: “Despite having easy access to cable network and internet, readers exist in the society. Those who cannot afford to pay amount to have access to cable network and internet, needing such libraries to quench their thrust of reading.”

As far as role of civil society organization for promoting reading culture through launching libraries and providing books at school level is concerned, their priorities are different.

They do not like to approach donors for opening of libraries and promoting reading culture in the society. They need money for water supply, sanitation and environment so that they can manipulate the money in the name of ‘social development’.

There are 20,000 registered non-government organisations (NGOs) but none of them have plans to extend knowledge through opening of libraries or supporting reading rooms in rural areas at union council level. Education does not mean just enrolling children in schools and sending them with full of their bags of syllabi is sufficient. They need proper knowledge they can get through new books and world classics published in the world. It is dilemma of the society, he added.
Source: The News
Date:9/21/2007