This article first appeared in our partner site, Independent Urdu
There is something special about the library in Tharparkar, one of the most deprived areas of the southeastern province of Sindh in Pakistan.
This mobile library was started almost two years ago in the village of Dhano Dodandal in the district of Tharparkar. It involves loading books onto a camel, which is then taken from village to village. Recently, the project has expanded to the another village, Sokliyo.
Mehdi Raza, who supervises this project in the area of Nagarparkar, says that Dr Asghar Naqvi of Karachi put him in touch with the educational NGO Alif Laila – who provided the team with books for children.
The camel library facilitates learning for children from village to village, without the need for hefty investment. Children not only read the books themselves but also take them to the adults in their homes, which furthers spreads awareness.
Children in the small village school look forward to the two days of the week when books are brought to them by the camel library.
Teacher Badal tells Independent Urdu he is happy that his students can access books in this novel way – and that the library is a helpful resource in their learning.
Pana Bhai, who is fond of reading, says she comes with the children of her village as soon as the camel library arrives.
Mehdi Raza explains that this service was started with just a single camel, but in the future it is hoped the project will be able expand further using more camels.
Translated by Tooba Ali, reviewed by Celine Assaf