Library movement and development in Manipur
- Part 5 -

Ch. Ibohal Singh *

Library at Manipur University (MU) , Canchipur as seen on October 21 2014
Library at Manipur University (MU) , Canchipur as seen on October 21 2014 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam

9. Role of READ India

Rural Education And Development (READ) India, as a partner of the READ Global, has been giving special attention to serve the marginalized and underserved communities who are living at periphery of resources and are not aware of the technological boom and how they can be benefitted from it. It feels that there is a need to strengthen "PublicPrivate-Partnership" (PPP) model.

READ, with Bottom-up Approach, has set up one of the unique models to empower communities through its Community Library and Resource Centers (CLRCs), specially the women and children who are the regular visitors at READ Centers. The integral approach of bringing Education, Enterprise followed by intensive trainings at the Centers is bringing a social change in the rural communities wherever READ has its Centers and communities are owning the programmes.

READ CLRCs are playing a critical role in helping disadvantaged and marginalized communities by providing new opportunities to become better educated and economically & socially empowered. Each community is unique and hence each Center is distinctive in its response to serving the interests, needs of the local communities.

The READ India has reached this land to established such community library and resource cenytres.Two such centres have, so far , been established in Manipur by the READ India during 2009 -2011.The two centres are:

1) Tubileima Rural Public Library and Resource Centre, Taobungkhok, Imphal West, Manipur , dedicated for the community during 2009.

2) Tazei Community Library and Resource Centre, Sangaiprou, Imphal West, Manipur, dedicated to the community during 2011.

10. Initiatives of the NSS Cell, Manipur University

A humble initiative has been launched by the NSS Cell, Manipur University since 2013 to establish NSS COMMUNITY LIBRARY. NSS is a scheme sponsored by the Government of India , Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the core objective of which is to make our student youth more socially sensitive by establishing a linkage between campus and community.

Each Educational Institution covered under NSS has at least one NSS unit of normally 100 volunteers. Each NSS Unit adopts a Village/ Slum for taking up its activities which is normally located within a radius of 8 Km. of the institute. Each NSS Volunteer is required to take part in both regular and special camping programmes organized.

It is in this context that the scheme has good social implications. Creation of asset is another important dimension of the scheme. In this background, the NSS Cell, Manipur University has taken up an initiative to develop NSS Community Library in the adopted villages/slums of the different NSS units under the Cell.

So far the following NSS Community Library have established by the NSS Units of different colleges affiliated to the University including one for the Cell itself:

1) NSS Cell, Manipur University, Canchipur(12th August, 2013)

2) Taloulung village, adopted village of NSS Unit of Damdei Christian College, Taluolong, Senapati District , Manipur(7th February, 2015).

3) Haotak Village, adopted village of NSS Unit Kumbi Vollege, bishnupur District, Manipur( 25th September, 2015).

4) Khurai Saroj Leikai , adopted village of Shree Shree Gourgovinda Girls' College, Khurai, Imphal East, Mnaipur (4th October, 2015).

5) Chowainu village, adopted village of Asufii Christian Institute, Pununammei,Mao, Senapati District, Manipur.(10th October, 2015)

11. Conclusion

While Manipur is passing through a very critical juncture on a multiple number of issues its public library movement has also eighty four years, taking into account the establishment of Manipur Club to provide public library service by Atulchandra in 1927 as the beginning of public library movement.

In spite of different efforts made in the last 84 years the present scenario of public libraries in Manipur is still depressive. But, we do also, on the other hand, expect that there will be a continuous progress and development in the near future in the area of public library to develop a new culture of peace and all round development in the state.

Some yardsticks that we can suggest for the enhancement of library movement and development of library in the state may include the following:

a) Implementation of the long pending the Manipur Public Libraries Act, 1988 without much delay has become an utmost important.

b) Opening of a separate Directorate of Public Libraries bifurcating it from the Department of Art and Culture of Manipur.

c) Revival of the extinct libraries which were established by our pioneers to give homage to them.

d) RRRLF and State Central Library should come forward to cover more number of voluntary organisations to establish library giving support and cooperation.

e) NSS Cell, Manipur University establishing a good linkage with all the NSS Units and voluntary organizations of the adopted villages should enhance its activities towards establishing more NSS Community Library in the state.

f) READ India also requires to extend its support towards establishement of more Community Library and Resource Centres in Manipur.


* Ch. Ibohal Singh, Ph.D., wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on October 31, 2016.

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