It’s Only Because of The Library…

Alexander the Great chose a tiny village as the capital of what was to be his monumental empire. It was in that tiny fishing village that the awe inspiring Library of Alexandria was built. It was at the library that famed philosophers,  scholars, theorists, and inventors made their ideas come to life.  Archimedes invented a water pump still used today, Euclid discovered the rules of Geometry, and Ptolemy wrote a scientific book that would be around for 1,500 years. Fast forward thousands of years and the library is still a window to thousands of opportunities. Opportunities that have enabled people in rural villages to gain the knowledge they need to move forward, get inspired, and gain knowledge. Users of READ libraries in remote villages of Nepal and India are living proof that libraries are a key component to raising themselves out of a poverty trap. These people prove everyday that  they too, can and do make a difference in their communities. Although  they do not write complex theories, or make new inventions; the Community Resource Centers have let their ideas blossom, changing their lives — just like the Library of Alexandria surely changed the lives of people in that tiny village thousands of years ago. Here is a look at how a READ library changed one man’s life.

“The Library has opened my eyes to a whole new world,” says Narayan Bahadur Sunyal, 55, who lives in Besishahar, Lamjung. He further adds, “I feel like I’m missing something if I don’t make it to the library everyday.” After having completed only nine grades in school, Sunyal joined the Indian Army and was on active duty for 16 years. After retiring from the armed forces, Sunyal dove headlong into social services and even joined a political party.

After finding out about the Laxmi Narayan Community Library, Sunyal involved himself with many of the Library’s activities. He began spending a major portion of his day burying himself in books, newspapers, and journals. His reading covers a wide array of subjects ranging from literature to politics. Once he is done with reading for the day, he goes back to his friends and talks to them about the new things he has read. His current readings involve constitutions of other nations, and this he imparts to his political counterparts and colleagues. While the nation grapples for a new constitution, his knowledge helps advocate local concerns.

Armed with newfound knowledge, Sunyal’s confidence in himself  has shot up by leaps and bounds. His oratory skills can now keep huge crowds enthralled for hours, and this has made him very popular and well respected among his people. He has been entrusted with a number of responsibilities which he does with pride.

“What I have today is only because of the Library,” says Sunwal, with a radiant smile that is hard to miss.

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~ by readglobal on February 17, 2010.

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