Embarking on a journey to outnumber the wine shops in Arunachal Pradesh with libraries, Ngurang Meena initiated the installation of roadside self-help libraries. A first of its kind initiative in the state, her noble efforts have been lauded by many including Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio programme “Mann ki Baat”. Taking forward her journey of spreading the light of knowledge, Meena is expanding her libraries in other districts of the state.
An educator and a social activist based in Arunachal Pradesh, Meena’s noble initiative has garnered enormous support from far and wide. The book movement as referred by Meena started under her NGO named Ngurang Learning Institute that was established in the year 2014, in the memory of her late father, Ngurang Pinch. The institute which mainly works for women empowerment saw that there is a need to revive the lost habit of reading books among the people of the state.
Her first library was installed in Nirjuli, a town in the Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh. Initially, even though the concept was new to people, in no time people started embracing the concept of self-help library.
People from all walks of life, young and old, come and enjoy reading books at the library.
“The free roadside street library is a humble initiative to help empower our youths and children through reading culture. We have received enormous support pouring in for the book movement of our institute,” said Meena.
Speaking to NET, Meena said, “Recently, we set up our second library at Bage Tinali Doimukh junction as the denizens of the capital complex had been showing great enthusiasm for reading, therefore, we pledged to expand further the movement in every district possible as our main mission is to outnumber the wine shops with libraries.”
Meena further informed that a third library is underway in Deomali Town in Tirap District and the next would be in Kurung Kumey, “…it is the most backward district and hence our main priority,” added Meena.
Meena who is a teacher by profession earlier in an interview with NET said that “Being a teacher, I have seen that the performance of students is very bad and it is because of poor reading and writing skills. The students who come from government schools could hardly construct a sentence. Moreover, not everybody could afford private schools and even most parents are illiterate, so it hampers the growth of a child. If we could inculcate the habit of reading I think it will be a boon for the children. They could at least frame sentences, learn new words, and improve their vocabulary.”
It needs to be mentioned here, people from far and wide have donated books and appreciated her efforts.
The idea of setting up the library germinated in her mind when she learned about the roadside libraries of Mizoram.
Read more about her initiative: