The mobile library tells stories to children on the streets of Peshawar

The project 'Kitab Dost' was initiated around three years ago by a group of women from the agricultural and business sectors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The mobile library tells stories to children on the streets of Peshawar
Mobile library in Peshawar (Time Square News Image 004)

Filled with vibrant cartoons and illustrations, this small library is just as beautiful in the interior as visible from the outside.

The children occupy the area around the vehicle when this rickshaw van arrives in the streets of Peshawar. First, the driver pulls out the mat from the car and spreads it across the area, then the other women and men along with him open the storybooks at the library and sit with the children.

The project 'Kitab Dost' was initiated around three years ago by a group of women from the agricultural and business sectors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, under which volunteers traveled to different areas to read stories to street children which included government as well as non-government institutions.

The president of the association states, "On the one hand, the practice of reading books is declining. But, on the other hand, the students of public schools and some private schools are so weak in reading that they cannot read and write a single sentence properly." The main reason is a lack of quality education and a lack of children's interest in reading.

In light of these factors, many kids leave school every year." When we started telling stories to children, their interest in reading began to grow," she explained. They began to ask for our permission to read books. They were eager to read. That's the reason we created an institution for street children called "Ujala," to which they regularly come over the last three years.

Bushra Rahim has said that once a day per week, the volunteers pick one area in which they share stories on the streets or at schools in the area for which she has received such a positive response.

She said they initially only included children from government schools but later included children from less privileged communities as well. Some authors have donated books to us for this library. Our volunteers continue to teach these books in various areas.

The children are extremely happy, and their parents are more content. They have asked us to keep coming to their area, but they also want us to establish schools in those areas where there are no schools.

He added that if mobile libraries like this are set up in the remote regions of Pakistan or in areas where schools for children are scarce or the education system is not of the highest quality, the children will surely benefit greatly from such a program.