“Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.”
-R. David Lankes
Considering the gravity of the great libraries, a mammoth project of setting up of “Sir Syed community library and resource center ” at Panchgram of Hailakandi district which comes in the middle of the three districts of Barak valley region of Assam, the most socially, economically backward region of Assam, has been initiated by UDAAN EDUCATION RESEARCH FOUNDATION, an NGO run by a few AMU, JMI, IIT, NIT, and other central university students of Baraak Valley region of Assam. This project bears the motive of easing the path of enlightenment for the rural students, particularly the students of the Muslim community, though the libraries would be open for all without prejudice.
This initiative is guided by the eagerness to make learning easier engaging for the students who possess the passion for knowing and growing, yet geographical hindrances act as barriers.The participation in higher education in many rural regions of the Barak valley being quite low, this project aims to uplift the same by aiding the poor students (initially with hundred students), guiding them in acquiring higher education with ease. We have been helping some students in the same fashion previously for AMU and JMI entrance test where three BPL category students got admission in AMU.Hence, the current target is to broaden this facility so it may reach more poverty stricken students and more minds get exposure to these educational conveniences.This Community Library and Resource Centre, will directly benefit atleast 5000 readers and learners from different age groups from 10 villages of three distrcits.The vision is to operate the library as a learning centre for the community that thrives on volunteer teaching (both physical and distance) and lifelong learning.In addition to that we are designing programs that would allow learners to gain useful knowledge and skills. Through a back-end team consisting of college students, educationalists and lawyers – working remotely – we are also striving for the socio-legal empowerment of the community through awareness and education.So far, we have procured neally 50 sets NEET entrance books and received 50 sets of NCERT books through donations. We aim to create a repository of 5000 books covering school curricula, reference material for competitive exams, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics and various other interesting and informative genres – in English, Bengali, and Assamese language.In addition to that we are collecting books on interfaith dialogue in order to bring social harmony for the greater interest of the society.We also wish to get subscriptions of local and national newspapers and educational periodicals to create a culture of reading within the community.We will also set up a Student Council, made up of committed members of the Library who are the leaders and advocates of the library movement.This library would act as the source whence the students can find books, of different competitive tests, study materials and other essentials easily in one place without going here in there.For those in college who wish to appear for Government job exams, assistance in terms of reading materials and guidance will also be provided besides giving vocational training and entrepreneurship facilities through Govt. schemes.Furthermore, students will discover a better space of learning, formerly unavailable to them.
Until now, we have successfully been able to establish five Sir Syed rural libraries- of which three are operational from houses, while two from private schools. However, taking the opinions and public demand into consideration and for these libraries' smooth functioning, we need to have a centralized library with a having a proper building facilties.
Our plan extends to the establishment of charity school for boys and girls around the library, which is expected to augment the literacy rate and participation in higher education amongst the underprivileged students particularly female students.
How can you help
The superficial view of this project appears to be full of colors, the accomplishment of which again requires tremendous toil, joint effort, and of course, huge finances. There is this apparent need for land, buildings, furniture, bookshelves, at least five laptops, projectors, library attendants, and new books. Further, our plan extends to establishing schools, study centers, hostels, community centers, and prayer halls; alongside each library to be built that can serve as a hotspot of learning and optimal growth of the Muslim students in large.As of now we need a plot of land worth of Rs.5 lakhs where we can construct two rooms (one common room and the other one is a Reading room, with toilets for boys and girls.We estimate that the project would cost Rs. 10 lakhs which would be very a bit difficult for us to carry.Currently, we have one lakh in our hand but we truly believe that once we start establishing this community center many will come forward to augment the process. Therefore, we seek your small contribution. Any amount would help a long way in creating a place of empowerment, knowledge, belongingness and inclusivity for all irrespective of gender, class or community.
The environment we aim to build ensures the path of education to be adequately fruitful, so we may grow as a community, being like our pious predecessors. These former generations had the quest for Islamic as well as worldly knowledge, having a vivid vision of both the deen and dunya, not compromising any. Our prime aim is to instill such values and attributes in the Muslims of this generation, who need a guiding map to reach the pinnacle of excellence.
We urge, particularly the entire Muslim community to allow their helping hands to donate money as per their capacity. Such generosity, irrespective of the amount you pay, would undoubtedly benefit the much needy students- with the ambition to learn and reach the apex, but fail to climb the ladder of success, lacking such conveniences. This project, when fulfilled by collective aid, will beget a generation of Muslim minds capable of changing Nations.
For any query, suggestions, etc, Contact Sahidul Islam choudhury 9084334024