Manipur: Students who returned home amid pandemic set up public library in Senapati
Senapati: The pandemic affected people from all walks of life, and many are yet to recover from it. India witnessed millions of people who returned home from various metro cities with hopes to safeguard life and stay close with their loved ones. Not only did working people lose jobs, students were also affected badly due to the disruption of the academic year.
But every adversity can be an opportunity to prosper too. A group of seven student returnees, hailing from Thingba Khullen (Chaonamai) village under Purul sub-division of Senapati district in Manipur, established a public library in their village. They realised that a library is essential for productive engagement of returned students. The limited study materials available with individuals, along with contributions from well-wishers, were collected and archived centrally for optimal and shared utilisation among students.
“Under continued uncertainties, we felt an urgent need to adapt to the prevailing environment and facilitate students to further their progression. That’s how we decided to establish the library,” said P Rolunii Reikhe, one of the students who returned home.
The district magistrate of Senapati district Thokchom Kirankumar officially launched the PIIDIIKHIIH library on December 19. PIIDIIKHIIH is the other name of Chaonamai village, the locals said.
Locals hope that the library would be a lifeline for students in the village and students from other parts of the state would also equally benefit from the initiative.
"Whoever we approached responded positively and came forward to support in various ways. The village authority happily allowed us to make use of the current house or room, without which we would have no place to keep our books or any material," added Reikhe, who is a law student in New Delhi.
Apart from the setting up of a library, the group also managed to install two computer systems with internet connectivity, which will facilitate more than 500 students for references, researches, and other online activities in days to come.
"We also thank the 34th and 38th Assam Rifles, especially the two Commanding Officers of the two units – Colonel Rajendra Singh Karakoti and Colonel Hemchandra Singh – for generously encouraging us by donating one computer system each, which will form the backbone for running the library and also for many other important activities for students as well as the village," said the local student.
According to them, having access to internet facilities will serve the people in the village which is situated at a distance of 44 km from the district headquarters.
With more than 2,000 people in the village, it hopes to ease people’s lives in various critical online services, including healthcare, consultancies, banking, registrations, & submissions requirements for essential services of various agencies, sharing, and collection of data & information etc., they said.
Stressing on how the facility will address not only the issue of the educational activities but social issues, Reikhe further expressed that the facilities at PIIDIIKHIIH library will provide lifesaving service to the entire village since when travel outside, the village is unsafe and extremely challenging under suspended public transportation.
As the new library started functioning, the young team hopes to upgrade with better facilities to facilitate more students in future with aides from the state government or district administration.