SANTOSH K. KIRO
They walked for almost 1km daily, jostled for space and sometimes were even forced to stand and read, for hours together, thanks to almost 25 years of apathy by the erstwhile Bihar and the later Jharkhand governments.
Not any more though.
A swanky library-cum-study centre has come to the rescue of more than 400 boarders of Ranchi’s Karamtoli Chowk-based Adivasi Hostel, thanks to the dedicated efforts of one man — state Rajya Sabha MP and corporate affairs president of Reliance Industries, Parimal Nathwani.
The library, which had been a long pending demand of the students, has been up and running since April last year.
According to sources, heeding the demands of the students, the erstwhile Bihar government had made an effort to set up a separate library at the hostel some 25 years ago. Though, the authorities had laid the foundation stone for the building in all earnestness then, the actual construction work somehow never kicked off.
The issue and the consequent problems being faced by the students was first brought to Nathwani’s notice sometime in 2009 wherein the Rajya Sabha MP decided to chip in with the local area development fund. A two-storey building-cum-study centre, which consisted of three big halls, set up at an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh, was ready for inauguration in April.
“Our hostel rooms do not have proper lights or ventilation. Hence, we wanted a separate structure where we could have spent hours in peace, even after sundown, studying,” said Varun Oraon, a Lohardaga-based boarder staying at the hostel.
Collectively known as Adivasi Hostel, the campus houses three structures which house students — Swarnarekha Postgraduation Hostel, Yaduvansh Adivasi College Hostel and Kartik Oraon Adivasi College Hostel.
Oraon, who is pursuing a postgraduation degree in history from Ranchi University, added that the new facility has been a boon for most of them, who earlier had to make their way to Central Library, some 1km away, to sit and study.
“Sometimes it so happened that we did not get place to sit in the central Library’s study hall and had to stand and read,” Oraon recalled.
Leader of tribal students body, Adivasi Chatra Sangh, which first brought the issue to Nathwani’s notice, Sushil Kujur said that the library had come as a much needed lifeline for a number of students who had been preparing for various competitive examinations.
“As many as 20 students had cleared the tests held by the state for selection of sub-inspectors. Apart from this, 22 students have also cleared the preliminary test of the Jharkhand Public Service Commission examination,” Kujur told The Telegraph on Monday.
He added that the students had also demanded spoken English classes and a coaching centre to train them for various jobs.
The library, however, is yet to have proper collection of books and furniture, issues that Nathwani has promised to look into at the earliest. The library at present functions with makeshift beds that have been laid out as tables.
“A retired government servant has been appointed to coach the students in spoken English as also to prepare them for various competitive exams,” an associate of MP Nathwani told this correspondent.
“We are in talks with various agencies for the procurement of books and furniture. They would soon be available,” Nathwani’s aide added.Courtesy:TheTelegraph.