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India: Peace through development and Education : Project Library

ZAINAB-AKTHERindian-smallflagMy village Padum is a small far flung town in the Zanskar valley of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. It is a remote place deep in the mountains and most of the development projects by the state as well as central government are not able to reach it due to its remote locations or funds being absorbed by the other parties involved in the process. The community belongs to the Schedule Tribe (ST), a status given to the people of the mountainous region by the government of India. Buddhist is in majority and Muslims in minority but there is communal harmony. For more than seven months in the year Zanskar remains completely cut off from the rest of the world—this includes Kargil, the district headquarters. The roads remain closed due to heavy snow-fall and there is no aerial connectivity available in the harsh winter months. As a result the few schools and other offices remains dysfunctional during this time and people of the village have nothing to do except waiting for the summers to come and the road to open. There is no means of communication through which they can remain in touch with the rest of the world. Only few have the access through phones by the service provided by BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) but the service is too poor in the winters.

There is no library system in this town. I intend to establish a library in my town with various types of books will be available. There will be sections like school books, magazines, newspapers and many more. Books will be available in Hindi, Urdu and English. I also intend to set up a small computer room with two to three computers and connect them to the World Wide Web. This way we can help the people to have access to the outside world during the harsh winter months. I will give basic computer training to the youth of the village and also others who are open to learning. We can charge a minimum price for internet access and provide the training and books free of cost.

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