A Library In Herronk, Balochistan: Case Study In Neglect And Deprivation
In recent decades, Herronk has been through multiple phases of deprivation and yet no outside assistance has reached so far to resolve these issues. The total population of Herronk is approximately 15,000 and the availability of resources or facilities for such a little population should not have been an issue. Despite being situated nearly 60 kilometers from the second biggest city of Balochistan (Turbat), residents of the village remain excluded in fundamental ways from the twenty-first century: their lives revolving around cultivation, tending sheep and shop-keeping. Apart from a failed education system, Herronk also lacks library facilities.
A library is reckoned the most integral institution of any society in terms of gaining knowledge. Yet Herronk has a single library: a very shabby structure with a limited number of chairs and tables, and an even more limited selection of books. These include a few course-related books. And most of the books are locked in shelves and are not given to the students in any case.
The library opens at 9:00 PM and closes at 1:00 PM, which essentially rules out access for school students – as they are in schools during those hours. The timing is just suitable for graduate students and most of them are out of the village. And so, on any given day, the total number of students in the library is three or four – and sometimes it is empty.
Moreover, the library does not have enough access to water and remains without any toilets. The unavailability of newspapers in the library is also a tremendous issue. And students’ lack of access to news on current affairs is made worse by a lack of internet facilities. The management has comprehensively failed to make the library fully functional for the students.
The poor situation of the library in Herronk has discouraged learners and prevented any zealous interest in reading amongst the students.
As a first step toward remedying this, the government should work on the provision of the necessary facilities for the library. Students would greatly welcome some measures to ensure the basic functioning of the library and improvement of its management.