F.P. Report Rawalpindi: The intellectuals, writers, poets and academicians, in a brain storming session of the Social Development Foundation (SDF) underlined the need to revive the book reading culture to face the challenges of 21th century by reviving the library culture and encouraging the availability of low price books. Deaputy Cultural Attaché United States Embassy Islamabad, Judith Ravin was the chief guest.
SDF organized the session in collaboration with Rawalpindi Art Council last evening to identify the reasons behind the almost diminished reading culture and evolving some strategy to revive the reading habit in people in general and in young generation in particular. Authors, poets, academicians and intellectuals and representatives of youth forums expressed their opinion and helped analyze the situation.
They urged the government to provide books reading facilities at school, college and community level besides providing some infrastructural, economic concessions or tax discounts to the businessmen to encourage setting up of “Mohalla” libraries as used to exist and were known as ” Anna ” Libraries at commuity level.
Judith Ravin said that US believes in the power of information and book reading habit plays a pivotal role in shaping your personality by deepening your knowledge base, improving intelligence and strengthening knowledge base. She added that the book reading culture should be encouraged from home, school, college and at all levels.
To promote the book reading the US embassy had formed Lincoln’s Corner–digital and books library in several cities of Pakistan focusing on the undisputed values that both the countries share that is education and democracy,” Ravin commented. “Citizens are welcome to access information of all kinds free-of-charge and I hope that the people will make good use of this space.”
Chairperson SDF, Sohail Chaudhary on this occasion said this effort was to highlight and discuss the impediments due to which the book reading culture was diminishing in the society. He said, SDF was dedicated to reviving the culture of reading books and fostering a love for reading in Pakistan.
He said the book reading is like day dreaming; “If you open a book you can dream in the day light”. A good books always gives you a good dream, hope and colours the perspective which is so important to make progress, and move on to the next level, he remarked.
He said “with the guidance and support of the eminent scholars, writers, intellectuals and members from the civil society we are hoping to create awareness and wider community participation in revitalizing the reading culture.”
Prominent writer and author of several books, Dr Ehsan said a short term, medium term and long term strategy should be formulated to promote book reading culture in the society. School teachers should be given training in this regard, he added.
There should be subsidy on books and efforts should be made for availability of low price books aimed at promoting the book reading culture, said a journalist-cum-psychologist. He was of the view that good books and government incentives can help revive the libraries and book reading culture.
Farida Hafeez, journalist and author of children books said that special incentives should be offered to the students aimed at reviving the book reading culture among students. Eminent writers, poets, intellectuals, columnists and representatives of civil society should come forward and play a role in this regard.
Rana Abdul Baqi said that book fair should be organized and the book lovers, youths, teachers, members of civil society, budding writers and the general public should be made the part of such festivals.
Dr. Nadeem Roshan, Naheed Waqar, Mehboob Zafar and other were also address the session. SDF is a non-profit organization striving for educating and empowering underprivileged communities. SDF believed that the poor or underprivileged communities should have equal opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute towards the socio-economic betterment.