TRIPURAINFO

Many libraries in Tripura are almost extinct due to non- availability of books and news papers

Jayanta Debnath

January 13, 2021, 08:33:50   

Book fairs are being organized in Agartala every year by amidst  book lovers at a cost of lakhs of rupees, leaving all public and private libraries across the state empty of books. Even in the last four or five years, most of the schools in the state had a library or bookshelf. But due to lack of government funds for the last few years, no books and daily news papers are being provided in these libraries at the government level. At present only some books are purchased at the Birchandra Central Library in Agartala at a certain time of the year. 

Earlier, all the 22 colleges in the state had a library. There were almost all kinds of reference books available. But for the last few years no college library has been enriched by books. In the same way, in the Lok Ranjan branches of the Information Department, various reference books and news peppers were provided to the news papers and book lovers of the village by purchasing books at the government level. Those processes stopped during the Left period due to lack of funds. There are about 432 Lok Ranjan branches under the Information Department on paper. No one in the department can say what is going on in them right now. Similarly, the 28 public libraries in different districts of the state are almost closed.

In the past, even in libraries run by many NGOs, was provided good numbers of news papers and books through the Information Department. Many clubs also had libraries. There may also be booklets of various successes of the government departments delivered through official books or information department. Right now these are completely off. Even the Department of Information or other government departments and PSUs  have not taken any initiative to publicize these achievements throughout the year. Last year, on the occasion of State-Hood Day on January 21 and Independence Day on August 15, two folders were released by the Information Department, but they did not reach any media house even. However, during the Left period, small pamphlets with their success stories could be taken out from each block. But in Model Tripura, all that is history or past stories. 

In an age of online internet where people's reluctance to read books is declining, the state government is moving in the opposite direction as online internet publicity is on the rise. Since the BJP-IPFT coalition government came to power in 2018, it has been seen that there are websites in various departments of the state government that disseminate information on their own activities, which are not being updated. The information of the state portal which is the main website of the state government (www.tripura.gov.in) is not being updated properly. If you go to many links, you can see the information of five years ago. However, the Right to Information (RTI) Act states that the various activities of the state government, decisions, which are being taken in the public interest so that the people do not want to get it, the government administration must always and online to update it. But there is no such thing in the state. In many cases if you ask any information through the RTI application but it is not provided as per the rules. However, in many cases, the general public is forced to do RTI for all the information that the government administration should have made public by their own. If there is any major government decision, a minister will tell it in a press conference. Do not give anything in writing.

The most surprising thing is the official decision, even though the state government has an information supply wing called ICA to get information on the promotion of the work, but no official information is available. They say give RTI. In the same way that the general public is being deprived of the right to know information in the state due to the emerging situation, the lack of information has also become a problem in publishing information based books lately. And the bigger problem is that the local books based on information are not in the libraries of schools, colleges, NGOs, Lokoranjan branches or blocks, panchayats, so the local youth or unemployed job seekers do not want to set foot in these endangered libraries these days.

Similarly, due to lack of necessary government information, the media houses in the state are also facing many complex situations every day. The BJP IPFT alliance has come to power and issued a circular saying that no one can talk to the media except the DGP, Chief Secretary, Secretary or SP, DM at the district level. As a result, journalists are also facing problems in collecting daily news. Journalists have been agitating for the last several months to withdraw the circular. But the state government is reluctant to withdraw. Due to the information crisis in the state, on the one hand, there is a problem in publishing such information-based books and on the other hand, there are also media houses which are facing problems due to lack of official statements about any incident.

   (Tripurainfo)

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