Measures are needed on sound footings for inculcating in the younger generation the habit of book reading and National Book Foundation should play its role by extending its sphere of activities in the backward areas, like Chitral. These views were expressed by speakers at a function held in a local public school in connection with International Day of Book Reading on Saturday.
The speakers included Dr Inayatullah Faizi, Professor Mumtaz Hussain, Taj Mohammad Figar and Alamgir Khan. They reiterated that the use of library in schools, both public and private, must be made mandatory and it must be ensured by the education department that each school maintained a library and issued books to the students regularly.
They asked the NBC to hold book-reading competitions among the students in Chitral and give them exposure visits to the libraries of other cities. They also noted the absence of public library in the city with great concern and said that not a single public library exists in the whole district. Sharing a story of success with the audience, Dr Faizi said two British teachers of a community based school in Booni town had established a library consisting of 7000 volumes and issued four books to each student every week.
He said that the practice had an amazing effect not only on the students but also on the family members of the student who shared the books and it was found that the people of the town had developed a sharp taste of reading. Mr Faizi noted with sorrow that with the departure of the teachers, the practice was abruptly abandoned and the craze for books faded away. On this occasion, prizes were given away to the students of different schools who had excelled in reading general books in a competition held by local organization. Prize winners included Sumera Jafar, Sidra Jahan, Misbahur Rahman and others.–Zahiruddin