Lack of facilities at Sachal Sarmast library

KHAIRPUR, June 13(Dawn): The Sachal Sarmast Library, with its lack of facilities for readers, is discouraging the few knowledge-seekers who still keep up the tradition of visiting libraries in this age of computers and Internet, which has despite its many advantages greatly diminished interest in reading books and drastically dropped number of library-goers.

The library has three air conditioners installed in the reading hall but none is functioning. It has no electricity generator, no parking area and not even toilets. In case of power failure, the readers numbering about 300 who frequent the library daily have to leave.

Two water coolers were installed in the library on temporary basis after library-goers staged protest about a month ago. Women and children can not visit the library because it has no separate sections for them. Besides, there is no separate section for researchers.

Syed Roshan Shah Rashid, In-charge of the library, said that separate sections for children, women and scholars and a computer section would be part of the new under-construction building of the library which would be completed by 2008.

Renowned poets, leftist leaders and scholars including late Dr Tanvir Abbasi, late comrade Baqir Shah, late comrade Ali Muttahir Jafri, late Hadi Bux Larik, Ali Aslam Jafri and Maula Bux Larik had taken steps to set up a separate Khairpur corner in the library with material on the history of Khairpur State but it remains a dream till this day. The library does not have sufficient number of books on the history of Khairpur State and its rulers.

The library used to be a venue for Sindhi Adabi Sangat's weekly meetings, lecture programmes, literary, historical and musical programmes during 1970-80s but the practice gradually came to an end over last two decades.

According to accession register, the library has at present 40,537 books in English, 27,343 in Sindhi, 33,217 in Urdu, 2,299 books in children's section, 5,848 in Persian and Arabic and 1,423 manuscripts.

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