A law graduate’s noble initiative for Ballarpur town

By Manzar Bilal, TwoCircles.net,

In the sleepy Ballarpur town in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra there has been some commotion for the last few months – a law graduate and social activist has come out with a multi-prong initiative to change the face of the town in his own way.

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As the district has been frequented by communal violence, Nazim Khalid Khan, 30, has set up a library. Yes, library, to help people understand each other’s religion so that misunderstandings prevailing in the society about faiths could be dispelled. So Khan has collected over 2000 books on different religions and topics of common interests. He opened the Allama Iqbal Public Library in March 2009. For the town of about one lac people this is a very new and interesting step. They are coming and getting benefited from the library.

Talking to TwoCircles.net Mr. Nazim Khalid Khan, manager of the Allama Iqbal Public Library, said: The library has more than 2000 books on various religions and general topics. Five newspapers of local language and magazines such as Tehelka, Business Today and Kanti are also available at the library.

Asked why he established the library he said: “Here in Ballarpur there is not a single library where all religions’ books are available and hence there is no source for common people to know their religions. Neither Muslims nor Hindus of the area are aware of what their religions say. They make opinions by watching Television which leads to much misunderstanding about each other. Therefore, I thought that there must be a source to study about religions and I started this library.”

Now taking one more step Khan has decided to start a study centre especially for the students of class X and XII. At the study centre they will be provided with books as well as guide books.

“We have started a study center and collected books for students of tenth and twelfth class. So that students who are not able to buy guide books can get benefits and this will be for common students irrespective of their religions” informed Mr. Khan. He plans to hire tutors also for the study centre.

“We want to provide students with the educational environment here because students do not find chances to study with attention as they have small houses. But we are in touch with voluntary teachers to give their time at the centre and if we find fund we will appoint teachers for that.”

However, as the library and the study centre are in the initial stage they need books. “We need books on all major religions and books related to other topics. For study centre we need guides and books of Maharashtra State Board with complete sets” he said. He has appealed to people to take part in this good deed by donating books.

Nazim Khan and his team also started one month back some vocational training centers to train women of the area. One is Asra Silai Prashikshan Kendra where 30 women were trained for tailoring in first batch.

Second is Sahara Vocational Training Academy where 38 women have been given training for making purse and bags. Other 30 women were also trained for making acids and other things.

“Of them, 50 got loans from banks and they are now earning money for running their households” told Mr. Khan.

Mr. Khan appealed to people of all part of country especially from Maharashtra to help his mission.

He can be contacted on 09970778000 and [email protected].

Address of the library:

Dr Allama Iqbal Public Library
Near Reliance Mobile Tower
In front of Nagar Parishad Swimming Pool
Balaji Ward, Ballarpur
Chandrapur-442701 (Maharashtra)