Dubai: A book bank has been set up at the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai to help students who cannot afford to buy expensive schoolbooks.
“The initiative has been launched in collaboration with some community volunteers who came forward to help the needy student,” said Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai. He urged UAE residents to come forward to help the needy students by donating used or new books.
Ali told a press conference held at the Consulate on Tuesday that book bank would operate under the education section at the consulate. “Anyone who wants to donate books or those who want to take books can contact the consulate’s education liaison officer,” he said.
He noted that a large number of parents were facing financial issues due to impact of COVID-19. “We have been receiving increasing number of request from parents to help them pay school fees and buy schoolbooks and uniforms. “We are trying to help them with the help of community members. The book bank will certainly benefit more students,” he added.
The book bank is the brainchild of Rana Raheem, former Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, who currently lives in Dubai. “We receive a lot of inquiries about schoolbooks. Some people want to donate used books while others want to take books. So, we decided to set up the book bank to provide a platform to help the needy students,” she said, adding that the facility would be opened to needy students from all the nationalities.
Raheem said that families also approach her to donate books after their children graduate or move to next classes. “The book bank will be ideal place for them to make the best use of their used books,” he said.
Ammar Ahmed, who graduated from the North American International School (NAIS) in Dubai this year, was the first to donate his schoolbooks. “I always wonder what to do with my schoolbooks as I do not want to throw them as they are very expensive. I am happy that I am able to help other students,” he said. He also vowed to collect more books for the book bank. Dubai based Pakistani student Ammar is also international Taekwondo player. He represents Pakistan Natioanl Taekwondo Team and also the Sharjah Sports Club in the UAE.
Raheem also thanked Ali for his cooperation in setting up the book bank at the consulate. She said that community members could also donate old laptops, tablets, school bags, lunch boxes and stationery.
Ali said that the consulate with the help of community members has already provided more than 350 laptops to the deserving students in Pakistani schools this year.