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Arunachal: Memoir of a young APCS officer in bringing up a school library

DEED-  Memoir of a young APCS officer in bringing up a school library By Sylvia Koyu-  On the start of Children’s Day Annual Sports Week at Deed Secondary School, the dusty empty shelves of the school have finally come to life. During an inspection of the school it came to my notice that the most important school in the circle established as early as 1960 did not have a library since its inception.

The school was lucky enough to have a library built by an NGO in 2017 but it had no books to boast and was more or less defunct despite having a good usable library room. I saw this as an opportunity to  mobilise the outreach I have as an administrator as well as channelize the dynamism of the latest batch of 2022 and “Donate a Book” drive took shape.

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The APCS Batch of 2022 and the senior officers of Lower Subansiri have helped immensely by contributing books as well as by encouraging and giving their moral support to my donation drive. I have donated around 250 books although donations have amounted to about 500 but could not donate all of them today due to logistic issues.

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors, said Charles Baudelaire. I believe that books are the perfect  gateway to the best minds in the world. They can take you on a tour around the farthest corners of the world even if you are tucked away in a remote little village of Arunachal Pradesh called Deed.

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I want to help inculcate the habit of reading to the students of Deed, reintroduce the fun way of learning, broaden their horizon of thought and get them accustomed to the simple joy of reading.

The drive has received a huge variety of books from Shakespeare and Dickens to works of the biggest names of Arunachal literature such as Mamang Dai to fun comics,  encyclopaedia, books on earth and space, flora and fauna, educational books about young growing adults to name a few.

The students here are lucky to have so many officers and exemplary citizens helping them out. We will see to it that a class for library is worked out in the curriculum no less than twice a week. Expansion of the shelves to accommodate more books and periodic book reading sessions in the school roping in interested officials from the district are also in the pipeline. The students here will benefit tremendously from the collective efforts of the society.

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I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to every donor who contributed, officials, family members and friends, but mostly the unemployed students and aspirants who have gone out of their way by supporting the cause despite struggling themselves. I would also like to appeal to the masses to contribute more good books preferably non-academic new, old or thrifted for the age group of 3 to 16 years since I plan on continuing this donation drive until the shelves at the library are completely full.

“Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you.”- Barack Obama.

(The author Sylvia Koyu is an APCS 2022 batch officer and presently serving as Circle Officer Deed in Lower Subansiri District).

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