Surkhet, April 6
Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi launched the campaign today.
On the occasion, Shahi said social transformation was necessary for building a safe society, adding that no society can remain safe through the use of force.
He stated that the campaign had initiated a new approach to social transformation in Karnali.
“It is necessary to read books to develop positive thinking. There is no need to feel dejected while in the jail,” he said and urged the inmates to send proposals to the government based on their knowledge, skills and interests so that the state government could support them accordingly.
The CM urged the inmates to read as many books as they could while serving time in prison taking the prison as their ‘gurukul’. He also underscored the need of taking this campaign to every village in the state.
Social Development Minister Dala Rawal urged the inmates to read books during their leisure time. He said the inmates could become dignified persons if they utilised their time in prison.
Chief of the Karnali State Police, Deputy Inspector General Mahesh Bikram Shah said he conceptualised the ‘Books in Prison’ campaign after an inspection visit to Jumla district prison.
There he was inspired by an inmate who showed deep interest in reading books and asked him to arrange some books for him.
The campaign started simultaneously in all eight district prisons of the state today under the Community-Police Partnership Programme.
As part of the campaign, libraries have been set up in prisons of Surkhet, Salyan, Rukum Paschim (west), Jajarkot, Dailekh, Jumla, Dolpa and Kalikot districts. Libraries have also been set up at the District Administration Office in Humla and at the District Police Office in Mugu since the prisons in these two districts have not come into operation yet.
Provincial Assembly member Yagya Khatri said books for the libraries had been collected under the aegis of publishing houses like Fine Print, Bulbul, Bookhill, Sangri-la, Nai Prakashan, Akshar Creation and Educational Books Nepal. Several organisations, including Book Publishers and Traders Association, and individuals also contributed books for the campaign.
According to him, 8,388 books of various genres have been collected under the campaign. The Ministry of Social Development has also allocated Rs 500,000 for purchasing books.
Meanwhile, book clubs have been formed in every district prison and at the provincial prison to develop book reading habit among the inmates. The clubs will organise book reading competition and book review sessions every Saturday.
A version of this article appears in print on April 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.