Friday, March 01, 2013

Mobile Library in Islamabad and the new issue of The Rationalist Pakistan

by Salman Hameed

Two quick things:
First, here is the latest issue of The Rationalist Pakistan - the e-Magazine of the Rationalist Society of Pakistan (RSoP).

And here is a fantastic effort of getting kids interested in reading in and around Islamabad. In the absence of school libraries, this Bright Star Mobile Library is trying to revive the tradition of reading.

You can listen to the full story here, and here is a short excerpt:
A few years ago, Saeed Malik returned to Pakistan after 35 years living in the U.S., Italy and elsewhere, mostly working for the U.N.'s World Food Program. 
"I found [Pakistan] had changed a lot. Unfortunately, not for the better," he says. "The education had really tanked, gone down the tubes, in elementary education." 
Malik says the poor quality of education is having a ripple effect on the lives of children. He remembers talking to a group of boys, 9 to 16 years old.
So Malik decided to take books to the children. He says the idea of creating a mobile library came to him after seeing a similar project at the San Francisco Public Library. But Malik says he soon encountered the type of bureaucracy that can choke the life out of a project — even from Pakistan's Education Department. 
He waited six months just to get a single letter from the department, granting access to schools

You can listen to the full story here and you can check out (and donate) the site of Bright Star Mobile Library here.


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