Bear gifts: Camels bring books for Pakistan’s poorest children Global development

Sherton wanted to continue his education, but had to drop out of school when he was 15 years old.

At 27 years old, Sharaton is happy to read again, as every Friday a camel goes to his small town, full of books.

She has four children, the eldest is 11 years old, the youngest is 18 months old and she reads to all the other children in the city as well.

Every week, when the bright camel comes to his home in Mand, about 12 miles from the Iranian border in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Sherton exchanges books for which he has received new money.

“When the camels first came to our area, the children were very happy and excited. Schools in our area have been closed for a long time because of the cove, and we don’t have a library, so it’s welcomed by all the children, “says Shorton, who uses only one name.

Abdul Qadir, a camel rider, walks towards the lamp-laden lamp in the town of Abdul Rahim Bazaar in Gwadar.
Abdul Qadir, a camel rider, walks towards the lamp-laden lamp in the town of Abdul Rahim Bazaar in Gwadar. Photograph: Faisal Faiz / The Guardian

Balochistan is one of the poorest provinces in Pakistan due to separatist insurgency over the past two decades. with 24% female literacy rate, One of the lowest in the worldIn addition to the male literacy rate of 56%, the country also has the highest rate of out-of-school children.

Roshan visits four villages, each inhabited by a “dynamic” such as Shorton’s house, where all district children between the ages of four and 16 can come together to read books, borrow and exchange.

“Parents and children are excited. This is giving many hope that they can read, and staff members are also working to be more motivated to reach out,” says Fazal Bashir, a library coordinator.

When Coved closed schools across Balochistan, two women in Mand. The Pakistani government came up with the idea of ​​Federal Minister Zubeida Jalal and her sister Rahima Jalal, the head teacher of a local high school – a camel.

“It simply came to our notice then Mongolia Rahima says. “It’s the equivalent of our desolate, remote and uncultivated lands. We’ve got a tremendous response we didn’t expect.

In Abdul Rahim Bazaar, children read books brought by the camel library
Children read books brought by the Camel Library in Abdul Rahim Bazaar, Balochistan. Photograph: Faisal Faiz / The Guardian

Books donated Alif Laila Book Bus Society In Lahore, which operates mobile rickshaw libraries in the city.

The Camel Library has passed its test and is now set to begin its next three-month cycle.

“The kids are looking forward to it. They want to read books and keep asking me questions,” says Shorton. [about it]. There should be more books on science so that our children can learn by experiment.

The Jalal sisters say the scheme has attracted a lot of interest from other areas, and they have recently started a library in Gwadar, Balochistan, with a camel lamp.

Anas Syed Mohammad is a 10-year-old fourth-grade student in Qasba Abdul Rahim Bazaar, 30km from Gwadar city.

Since the camel library started moving three weeks ago, Muhammad has read a different book each time. “I loved reading Treasure hunt (In search of treasure) I talk to my friends about these books, “he says.

Chirag visits five cities each week with his handler and a volunteer and teacher, Ismail Yaqub. One day, when Jacob went to work at his school instead of the village, he received a call from a child on his mobile phone.

Teacher Ismail Yaqub (left) with children in Gwadar District
Teachers Ismail Yaqub (left) and Chirag Camel with children in Gwadar District. Photograph: Faisal Faiz / The Guardian

“He asked me why I didn’t come with a camel. They were waiting for books. “Children are so interested in reading and their education, but unfortunately the state does not invest in education.”

Ten-year-old Jawad Ali, who aspires to become a teacher, has also started taking books from the Camel Library. He says: “I am learning new things from these books and reading stories, understanding photo stories. But I want to read more books. The books are written in my mother tongue – Balochi but in English and Urdu. We also need more books, and libraries and schools.


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