THE ASPIRING KASHMIRI YOUTH

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Kashmir’s maiden privately-owned library is trending 

Kashmiri youth are hard-working and aspirational. Akin to the youth globally, Kashmiri boys and girls also want to create a bright, happy future for themselves and enjoy a rich and fulfilling career. Study Lounge, the maiden privately-owned 24X7 library in the heart of Srinagar city is testimony to the hard work and perseverance of Kashmiri youth. The library has become a popular haunt for students and readers from all over Kashmir. The library houses a large number of books and operates round the clock. It has gained popularity among the youth and also among serious readers.

Sofia Bashir, who had done Bachelor in Dental Science (BDS) and is now preparing for her Masters degree, is a frequent visitor to Study Lounge. Sofiya says the environment of the library is perfect for long hours of study. “It is bliss to study in an environment which is completely silent. One can focus so much better. Those who come here frequently to study have made it their favourite place for study. We can also leave our reading material here if we wish to,” she said. “The library is under CCTV surveillance from the main gate to the interiors. This is very reassuring from the security front. It provides a safe environment to every member of the library,” she said.

Amir Bashir from Shopian has done M.Tech, and is currently pursuing PhD from the University of Kashmir has positive feedback for the library. “I enjoy the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of the library and I like studying here. All students seek a noise free environment to study. The library provides us with the requisite space,” he said.

Is the library suitable for study during late night hours? Sofia informed that the library is a secure place for all students, whether they are boys or girls. “There is CCTV surveillance. A security guard is also deputed here around the clock. Hence the library offers good protection for all students round the clock,” she said.

Students studying at the library said that the charges are also reasonable. Even students with limited means find it convenient to study here in an environment free from disturbance. The library provides daily newspapers and magazines for the students. It also tries to provide the relevant material to students aspiring to clear medical or engineering exams, or prepare for UPSC. Many students at the library gave the feedback that they are not able to concentrate at home, but they are able to focus well at the library. Students said that they find the library a convenient space for learning, making notes, completing an assignment etc.

The students studying here appreciated the calm and disciplined atmosphere at the library, when they said helped them to concentrate well. Many students said that they were inspired by the positive feedback that they received from other students about this space. “We have enough space in our homes to study. Here in the library, we get only a two-foot space to study. But this two-foot space becomes a major the investment into our future,” said a student.

We Want to Open More Such Libraries In Kashmir Over The Next Few Years: Owner Deeshan Jallu 

Talking to KZINE, the owner of the library Deeshan Jallu said that he set up the private library in August 2021. Jallu says that since the time he was doing MBA in New Delhi, he had nursed the dream that he should provide such space for students. “When I was doing MBA, I used to visit some libraries for study. I observed that every 10 kilometers, a good private library would be available. It occurred to me that when the students outside Kashmir have this facility, it should also be available to the students of Kashmir. Since then the idea had been whirling in my mind that when I go back to my home town, I should open a library to enable the youth to study in an appropriate environment.” Jallu informed that this is the valley’s first private library. “We are happy to have provided a large space to students where all the facilities of a good library are available. We feel very happy when we receive positive feedback from the students who come here to study. In the coming years, we may open more branches of Study Lounge in other parts of Kashmir,” he informed.

Jallu said that he is always happy to see the enthusiasm among the youth for study. “We get students from all districts of Kashmir. The incredible thing is that in Kashmir, parents want that their girls should be at home before 6 pm. But I have seen the girls engaged in serious study leaving the library even at 11 pm. All the students know that they are studying in a safe, secure atmosphere. Hence they can study at peace,” he said.

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