Jorhat, Nov. 11: The Jorhat unit of All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has taken up an initiative to open book banks and rural libraries for underprivileged students in the district in a month.
An executive member of the central committee of the students' union, Jul Khound, told this correspondent today that it has decided to open three book banks in the district.
The banks will be set on the AASU office premises within Borholla Higher Secondary School (Titabar), another at Majuli College (Majuli island) and at a junior private college (Abhigyan Academy) here.
"As a student organisation, we have a moral duty to extend aid to those belonging to the underprivileged section of society apart from voicing our concerns to issues related to the interest of the state," Khound said.
The student leader said books (old and new) related to academic courses from class IX onwards to university level and also for those needed for preparation for various entrance examinations like medical, engineering, dental and other such tests would be collected from former students.
Khound said new books would be collected from well-wishers, general public and organisations involved in social work. Books from three banks will be given to students free of cost for a period based on their requirement.
As part of the project, the union approached individuals and organisations in the past one month, who have handed over 1,500 books (old and new) to it for the banks.
The union had also approached several publishing companies of Assam and outside the state. A publishing house from Calcutta has already dispatched a consignment of books, the AASU leader added.
Khound said the banks would be soon functioning under the supervision of local AASU members with assistance from the college and school employees where they would be housed.
He said under a similar initiative, the union has set up children's libraries in rural areas by engaging local clubs and voluntary organisations in the past six months.
With an aim to develop the habit of reading and make books available to children belonging to economically backward section, AASU has selected voluntary organisations and clubs having their own houses/buildings for opening small library within their existing offices.
Khound said till date 22 such libraries have been opened across the district and more were likely to come up in the next few months. Large number of people and organisations came forward and donated books and furniture, he added.
These libraries are normally open on Saturdays and Sundays, Khound said.
The union on Saturday took out a rally here during the inauguration of a book fair here to make the students aware on its initiative.