A roadside cupboard near Metropole Chowrangi that had left many puzzled earlier this week has turned out to be Pakistan’s first street library.
Although, the street library’s work is still in progress, the project is an initiative of Karachi’s Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, aimed to increase reading habits. It can be said that Shallwani’s idea of Pakistan’s first street library is inspired by Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman statesman, who once said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
The street library would not only offer books to readers from all over Karachi, the library also features sculpted artwork of historic buildings of Pakistan.
While talking to a local news channel, Shallwani said the street library will be inaugurated on 25th December, marking both Christmas and the birthday of Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The artwork sculpted on the street library included portraits of Pakistan’s founder, and his companions who helped in founding the country, and architectural masterpieces, turning a simple walk into a pictorial tour of Karachi.
“There is internet, technology, Google, and [many] spend a lot of time on the computer but a book is a book”, the commissioner added. “Books will benefit youngsters a lot, and if they read, then they can achieve whatever they want in the world.”
Nevertheless, while street crime runs rampant in Karachi, perhaps the city’s commissioner hopes to add to the quality of its citizens’ lives from a different perspective.