Video via Video Volunteers:
Founded in 1917, Patna University in Bihar is the seventh oldest university in India. For a good century, hundreds and thousands of students have through the hallowed halls of the university that has nurtured brilliant minds like Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister ofBihar and Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International.
The library inside the University has been shut for two years preventing students from accessing valuable reading material.
While more than 3,000 students of the University, studying in eight different departments continue to suffer, Syed Amir Abbas, a 19-year-old History Honours student at Patna University chose not to remain silent. He is determined to have the library reopened for all its students, once again.
“Almost two and a half years ago, our seniors asked for the library to be open for 24 hours during college days,” recounts Amir. Following the denial of the University to give in to the demand and students’ protests, the library was shut without citing a reason.
Students from lesser privileged backgrounds have been suffering the most. Reference books for a few subjects cost somewhere around ₹2000 or more, something a lot of people cannot afford. Students have to choose between paying for private tuitions and buying reference books. They manage instead with notes, but their marks do get affected. All of this happens while a vast number of textbooks and reference books remain locked behind closed doors of the library.
Some students have made an effort to get answers from the University authorities but to no avail. “Earlier they said that they had shut the library for renovation purposes. But no such thing has happened,” Amir reveals. At the beginning of October’16, Amir and his classmates presented the case once again in front of the Dean, Student Welfare. However, the library remains shut.
“There is a reason why we opt to study in a government college. We are students from lower-middle income groups who cannot possibly afford to go to a private institution, let alone the books. But irrespective of where we study, it is our right to gain knowledge and an education,” says Amir.
Amir has made this video for IndiaUnheard in an attempt to reach out to the right voices, asking for support. The Dean, Student Welfare must immediately make an effort to reopen the library.
Call the Dean, Student Welfare of Patna University on 0612-2671826 and demand that the library be reopened at the earliest.