GUWAHATI, Aug 3 - An appeal made through social media about making book reading a part of life by renowned educationist Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury is fast being adopted by various colleges and universities of the State. To take this initiative to a larger scale, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and the Asom Sahitya Sabha (ASS) extended their support by organising a formal gathering of students at the District Library here today.
Kitap Parho Ahok - the appeal made two weeks back by Dr Choudhury is doing the rounds on social media and is being shared by a lot of his students, followers and admirers. Some prominent citizens of Guwahati, publishers, academicians and students� who gathered at today's event took a pledge to make book reading a part of their lives.
The initiative was first started in 2010 at Tezpur University when Dr Choudhury was the pro-vice-chancellor of the university.
Through the event, the AASU and the Asom Sahitya Sabha also asked the State government to start a library period in schools to make book reading mandatory for the students.
Speaking on the occasion, ASS president Paramananda Rajbongshi said books are the secular Gods, which give knowledge without any discrimination.
�Also, for worshipping our Gods, we turn to the Kirtan Ghosha, the Naam Ghosha, the Gita, the Bible, the Quran and the Guru Grantha Sahib. If books are to die someday, the entire humanity would also die,� he said, adding, �we have requested the State Education department to make book reading compulsory in classrooms,� he added.
AASU chief advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharyya said such a practice would encourage a lot of people to come out and spend their time in libraries. �However, to introduce it in an organised format, it is necessary that our schools start a specific period for book reading to inculcate this habit from a very young age. The State government must take up the matter as soon as possible,� he said.
Dr Bhattacharyya also appreciated the role of Dr Choudhury for initiating a constructive movement among the students of schools, colleges and universities.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Choudhury said the book reading habit, which is getting extinct gradually, needs the society's collective attempt for its revival. �To preserve and promote our art, culture, literature and legacy, we need to have books. To uphold the universal human values as well as to protect our distinct identity as the representatives of rich culture, we will require books. Passing on the book reading habit to posterity is of utmost necessity,� he added.
Dr Choudhury also guided the students of different universities and colleges in the reading room of the district library. Inspired by his appeal, universities including the USTM, Down Town University and Assam Don Bosco University have started such initiatives on their campuses. Some colleges in areas like Lahowal, Kaliabor and Howly have adopted similar programmes.