Students sat on the streets of Dharamshala in protest during winter session of the Vidhan sabha. They were assured by the education minister, but no change is witnessed till date.

The Dharamshala city library sans all the basic amenities which are required for any such setup to function, rue regular visitors here. Besides that the library hosts ample books, it far lacking in its upkeep, and other operational fronts, they state.  In this competitive world students are toiling hard to plan a future for them. There is wide spread unemployment and thousands compete for every job examination which is advertised. One place which is idle suited for preparation of these competitive exams is the district library at Dharamshala. Students preparing for the competitive examination want to make full use of books, newspapers and the periodicals available at the district library. Banking, vacancies announced by the state subordinate commission, State Public Service commission, recruitment in police department, recruitment in forest department and judicial services are some of the options where the students try their hands on at Dharamshala.

But these visitors of the reading place rue that the place lacks ambiance and the basic facilities which the government library should provide. They say that firstly there is scarcity of staff here and students find it difficult to find books. Adding,” Against the sanctioned seven posts here three are lying vacant,” they informed. Secondly there is no ample space to sit here, they added. There is overcrowding of students and one could see students standing in long ques waiting for their turn to get a seat in the library. The library has two halls in two floors, they informed. The current set-up can accommodate two to three hundred visitors. But in the current on daily basis more than five to six hundred students turn to district library for preparation, they stated.

More time of students is wasted here in getting a seat, than sit and study/read,” they complained. Moreover due to scarcity of the staff there is no accountability of the number of students entering the library premises. “Many visitors don’t even make an entry on the register placed at the gate of the library,” said students.

On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which aims to make country open defecation free while on the other hand, there is still devoid of basic amenities here. The library lacks proper sanitation and the building hosts’ only one toilet, which is not enough for so many visitors. There is foul smell emitted from this toilet spread over to the sitting halls in the library making it difficult for the students to concentrate.

From disturbances in Jawaharlal Nehru University to Banaras Hindu University, the insufficient system of grievance redressal has often allowed certain incidents to convert into protests. During the last winter session which was held at Dharamshala in the month of December, 2018 students sat to study on the road outside government district library in Dharamshala to raise protest against lack of basic facilities like seating and toilets at the library. This was indeed a very unique way, as several students sat on the pavement leading to the library to raise their voice against lack of toilets in the library. While sitting on the road students were seen reading their books and magazines under the open sky. The Education minister who was here to attend the winter session when heard about the protest assured the students of improving the basic infrastructure of the library. But it seems the assurance made was limited to only words with no improvement.


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