In the remote areas of Bihar’s Aurangabad district, a young IPS officer has decided to open a library for the youth to prepare for competitive exams. Ramashankar learns about the new chapter in people’s lives in this Maoist stronghold.
This young IPS officer has chosen twin objectives: fight Maoists in the dense forest of Chakrabandha in Bihar’s Aurangabad district; and introduce the bright side of academic knowledge to students of that remote area.
Kantesh Kumar Mishra will be starting a library at Langurahi village for the benefit of students preparing for competitive exams. Book lovers too can also expect something intellectually stimulating. The Chakrabandha forest area has witnessed several gun battles between Maoists and security forces. The 2015-batch IPS officer of Bihar cadre is currently posted as Aurangabad’s Superintendent of Police.
He says Maoism can be tackled in two ways: by using force for some time and by implementing various government schemes vigorously. “Education is an important tool as it motivates the youth to concentrate on studies,” he says.
He says his library will become functional at Langurahi village, about 20 km from the district headquarters, in two weeks. “Students preparing for entrance exams in engineering colleges as well as book lovers interested in literature and other subjects will find the library very useful,” says Mishra, who earned a B.Tech and worked with a private firm before joining IPS.
People have shown keen interest in donating books. “We already have a collection of books. We expect people will come forward to donate more books,” he says. Mishra has to his credit several books, which include collections of his poems, Pataliputra Ki Chhao Se and Magadh Sa Man. He gives credit to his family background for his keen interest in Hindi literature.
“Our objective is to ensure that youths do not face any limitations in preparing for competitive exams and in accessing guidance,” he says. “I hope the library, named Bharat Pustakalaya, would help people spend more time with books rather than being glued to their mobiles,” he says, adding the library will remain open round-the-clock. Another library would also be functional in adjoining Pachrukhiya village. Both Langurahi and Pachrukhiya villages are located under the Madanpur police station area, bordering Gaya district as well as Jharkhand.
Since a dense forest and a hill range surround these villages, it is difficult for people to send their children to even the district headquarters. Mishra’s yearning for helping needy students from weaker sections of the society does not end here. He also visits schools located in the difficult terrain on weekends and distributes books and study material free of cost.
Indajit Paswan, a local resident, says people’s confidence has increased with Mishra’s initiatives. People are now optimistic about their future and of their children, he added. Public health is also on Mishra’s priority. He has helped organise many healthcare camps along with the district administration.