‘Har Gaon Ek Library’: A campaign launched by Loni youths

250 libraries opened in various districts of the country under this campaign.

A newly opened library by Team Gram Pathshala in Noida’s Jhundpura Village

New Delhi: Free and easy access of books and other study materials was not an easy task for thousands of youths living on cities located bang on Delhi border till a group of youths came forward to open libraries. Relentless and painstaking efforts of opening of libraries under the initiatrive “Har Gaon Ek Library” in neglected belts by creating a self help group “Team Gram Pathshala” has turned into a revolution these days as nearly 250 libraries have been started in Delhi and its neighbouring states. With the gaining momentum, not only youths while a section of educationalists and even bureaucrats have been contribution for this noble cause.

It’s all started from Ganauli, a small village in Ghaziabad’s Loni Block when Devendra Bainsala, a Delhi Police personnel and Lalbhar, an Inspector rank official posted in the Human Rights Commission, came up with a unique idea to opening a library in their village during the prolonged lockdowns to help the children of their locality to ensure free access of books. After successfully opening the library, both of them decided to take this mission further and started approaching like-minded people of neighbouring villages.

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Speaking to The Theorist, Devendra said, “The youths of the village, with mutual cooperation, decided to open a modern library in the village for the children of the village during the lockdown. Around 65 children can sit at time in the library.”

Lalbahar said that the change seen in the village due to the construction of the library is unimaginable. “The children of the village are studying day and night sitting in the library. The entire library is full of children and the children themselves clean and take care of the library,” he said.

After success at their village, the initiative was taken elsewhere with the help of Team Gram Patshala and the first meeting for the initiative was organised by a government teacher of Uttar Pradesh, Ajaypal Nagar, in Bambawad village of Gautam Buddh Nagar’s Dadri. After that, the team has been visiting from village to village to make people aware of importance of library at village level. With the efforts, a total of 32 libraries have been opened in Gautam Buddh Nagar alone. Team Gram Pathshala’s Ramveer Tanwar, an Engineer by profession, built a library in Noida’s Jhundpura Village with the help of villagers.

The duo also said the libraries are ready and running smoothly in Kalda, Dujana, Kachaida and Kudikheda villages of Gautam Buddha Nagar alongside in Inayatpur village of Ghaziabad.

Apart from this, libraries have been built in Ghitaura, Bhagout, Sirauli villages of Baghpat. Libraries are also under construction in Chirodi village of Ghaziabad and Sanwali of Bulandshahr. It has also been started in Mudi Bakapur. From the campaign called “Jan Jagran Yatra” for opening libraries at least one library in each village and construction of library halls, the Team Gram Pathshala has assisted in building 250 libraries in several districts across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi.

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Arushi Garg has worked with several media houses, including DD, Dainik Jagran, News 24 & Hindustan. She has covered various beats in NCR. She writes on local issues, politics, etc.