Ukhrul: In an attempt to utilise the pandemic time wisely, youths in Manipur have built a free mini library at Halang village in Ukhrul district with an aim to revive the reading culture among the youngsters.

But what has caught everyone’s attention is the free library being installed amid the high rise of oak trees and lush green open space at Zingkat Wonra Park at Halang village, about 15 km from the district headquarters.

This free entry park which is maintained by Halang Youth Council (HYC) is one of the most sought-after recreational parks in the hill district.

The momentous task was initiated by a group of 17 youngsters of Halang village in the month end of August and the response received from the residents of Ukhrul has been great so far. Most of the members in the team are returnees from other states amid the pandemic lockdown.

“The mini-library is accessible to all the lovely visitors. So upon visiting please do stop by to open a book and savor the treasure gracefully, here in the heart of Zingkat Wonra,” the team wrote on Zingkat Wonra Facebook page.

“We want our esteemed readers to know that it’s your library, your book to crunch but not yours to take home,” they added.

Visitor at Zingkat Wonra Park

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Visitor at Zingkat Wonra Park enyoying a book

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Zingkat Wonra Park at Halang village

Set up in four mini structures, this mini-library amid the impeccable hang-out space provides readers with a unique experience of ‘quiet reading space’ and ‘mental escape’ amid the boredom arising out of the pandemic.

Speaking with EastMojo, Atai Chamroy, one of the team members, said: “We started this project to provide reading space to our readers and also promote a reading culture among the youngsters.”

At present, over 100 books covering different genres are up for grabs in the bookshelf.

“We pool in the money from our own pockets and installed the four mini-libraries and the books are donated by well-wishers. However, since most of us are staying outside the state, we have given the responsibility to the local youth organisation for the future course of plan,” said Atai.

Currently, due to the pandemic, there are restrictions for outsiders to visit the park and avail the free library services; however, the mini-library team hopes to share the joy of reading to people from various walks of life and encourage reading.

With educational institutions closed due to the spread of COVID-19 in Manipur, such initiatives not only encourage reading among youngsters but also make a difference in the community.

Also Read: Manipur reports 1 more COVID-19 related death; 239 new cases

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