Akbar Jiskani Memorial Library remains at risk of vagaries of weather as its building, donated by a bureaucrat, has been damaged during heavy rains of 2011. It can collapse any time. The walls and roof of this building have developed large cracks and the roof is leaning down. The library houses rare collection of thousands of books, records of newspapers since 1999, computer lab and furniture and fixtures can all be destroyed if the building collapses. Most alarming is the loss for many people who come to study here.

The readers and library management have time and again requested the elected dispensation of Taluka Johi and Dadu District to pay heed to this island of excellence for the residents, but to no avail. Now the same representatives from PPP have been reelected so there may be nothing done! The readers have gone from door to door to collect donation to run the day to day expenses of the library, but unfortunately they were reprimanded and ridiculed by the majority of business class, as latter did not understand the importance of books or a library.

Z A Bhutto himself was an avid reader and according to late Ghulam Mustafa Shah, besides maintaining his well stocked library, Z A Bhutto was always seen with books while traveling. But our local MPAs and MNAs and the majority of the ministers from Sindh don’t appreciate books or libraries (most may be having fake degrees or no education). Apart from local PPP leaders we also sent an SMS and appeal through media but no one was moved. Some Multinational Company (BHP) extended some temporary support to the library through an NGO from its one percent, pre-tax profits.

Only once a tender in a regional news paper informed that District Government is going to construct, repair and renovate some Darghas of the pirs in the area. The project of construction of library building has been sanctioned and rejected couple of times, reportedly by District Development Committees, headed either by local MNA or MPA. Doctor’s, journalist and a few other individuals from Johi have also extended their personal support, but now they seem exhausted.

Not getting any response to their desperate appeals, some of the readers, mostly from lower middle class, have taken the task of running the library on their own. They are contributing to meet the minor expenses of the library, but reconstruction of the building is beyond their capacity. Through this paper the elected representatives from PPP and leaders of other parties and are requested to help in this causes.


Johi, July 2.