Mumbai: Apex body of gurudwaras banks on books to help students in need
To start book bank which will lend used textbooks, encyclopaedias, journals etc for free to school and college students, who can keep them as long as they need them
Balbir Singh of Sevak Jatha Dadar, shows some of the books which make up the book bank. Pic/Sameer Markande
With the academic year about to commence in June, some students must be worried about the cost of books. Sri Guru Singh Sabha, the apex body of gurudwaras in the city, has come to their aid. It is opening a first of its kind book bank to lend books of various courses free of cost to needy students.
Students from across the city can take these books from the Sabha in Dadar, and keep them for as long as they need them. The Sabha will inform schools and colleges, so students are aware of the bank, which will open soon.
Donated used books
After a month-long exercise, 700 used books have been collected from donors and over 500 more are on their way. A batch of 30 volunteers from Sevak Jatha Dadar, the gurudwara's youth wing, collected the books. Most of the donors were students and professionals.
Balbir Singh of Sevak Jatha Dadar said that they thought of the idea around two years ago. "We are looking at it spiritually, as we consider knowledge the biggest power. We realised that some students cannot afford the expense of books. Sometimes even shops run out of books and students don't know where to get them," said Manmohan Singh Ratti, general secretary of Sri Guru Singh Sabha.
"We used social media to spread the word among our friends, family and community circles. Slowly, we started receiving calls from across the city. We collected books from class V and above. We received a good response," said Jasdev Singh, a volunteer with Sevak Jatha Dadar, who collected books from Andheri, Kandivali and Dahisar.
More than textbooks
Besides textbooks, there are journals, encyclopedias, research books and dictionaries. "We will categorise the books as per courses and subjects. We are creating a database before the bank is opened," said Balbir Singh. "If many students want the same book, our authorities will decide how we could help," he added.
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