You must have heard various times that a book is an individual’s best friend. Books provide individuals with knowledge. Reading enhances creativity, imagination, and vocabulary.
Ngurang Meena launched a free roadside library in Arunachal Pradesh. The aim is to develop the habit of reading among people of all age groups.
Motivation Behind Opening up an NGO
Ngurang Meena is a teacher by profession. She also works as a social worker at Naharlagun town. She completed her graduation from MCC Bangalore. Further, she completed her master’s in economics from Rajiv Gandhi University Arunachal Pradesh with a B.Ed.
Ngurang’s mother motivated her to work for women’s education and contribute to the welfare of society at large. She started an NGO – Ngurang Learning Institute. The NGO has was named after her father, who was a politician.
Educating the Ones in Need
The purpose of the NGO is to empower and educate the tribal people. She wishes to instill the ability to read and write in tribal people so they can lead dignified life.
Ngurang Meena with her team used to travel to different parts of the state to educate school children. Since the corona outbreak, these activities have been on hold. The idea of a free self-help library came to Meena during this time.
Setting up the Self-Help library
Ngurang Meena, along with her friend Diwang Hosai, started this initiative. The library is the first of its kind that has been built in this area. It is currently a simple rack loaded with books and a couple of wooden benches for the readers by the road. Rain is common in the area. The books can easily get spoiled due to rain. So saving the books from rain, Meena asked her students who constructed the library to add plastic sheets.
Nirujli, the town where Meena lives in is 19 kilometers away from Itanagar. Many people avoid traveling so far to get books to read. The self-help library aims to bridge this gap and provide books to the readers for comfort.
Inculcating Reading Habit in Others
The books are accessible to all the people who wish to read. Also, the library holds a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books. She spent an amount of Rs 20,000 to construct the library and get books for it. The local children helped her in the library’s construction.
She mentioned, ” The response to the library has been beyond anything she could imagine. So many boys and girls visit the library. It feels so good to see the growing interest of others in reading.”
Success and Purpose of the Library
The state has more liquor shops than libraries, and she wants to bring a change in this situation. In the age of e-reading, smartphones, and other kinds of technology, Meena wishes to establish a habit of reading to brighten young minds and educate them for a better future.
Many people have donated books to the library to support the positive initiative. Ngurang Meena wishes such libraries open in every ward of Arunachal Pradesh. She has opened other such libraries in other districts as well.
If you like this story, then read about Megha Bhatia. She started Our Voix, an initiative to raise awareness about sexual abuse in children.