The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Efforts underway towards promoting reading culture in Helmand

With reading, a human being can learn and increase their knowledge. Most Afghan youths had previously complained about the lack of proper location for reading. With the Islamic Emirate takeover, efforts have been made to promote the reading culture across the country. In Helmand, a proper environment has been now provided for youth to read. Provincial officials for information and culture say the number of those reading books has increased in recent weeks in the province as most people, particularly the youth, visit libraries to read books. Qari Muhsin Omari, head of the public library in the province, says youths have now turned to reading books in the province. “With promoting a culture of reading, increasing awareness about the importance of book-reading and holding seminars have resulted in increasing the number of those reading books,” Omari said, adding that efforts have been made towards promoting the culture of reading. According to the head of the public library in Helmand, more than 1,032 youths have visited the provincial Depart ment of Information and Culture’s library to read books in the past one month, showing a considerable increase in the number of those reading books in the province. Local officials of Helmand say ground has been also paved for the province’s youth to have access to the internet in the province’s central libraries, adding that those who cannot find their reading materials in libraries can get access to the internet to find their favorite reading materials. According to local officials, efforts are underway to provide all possible ground as internet for youth in the province’s libraries so that they can get their reading materials easily. In the meantime, experts believe that Afghan youth not only in Helmand but in the whole country have turned to using smartphones instead of reading books. Mohammad Ismail Shariat, a local writer in Helmand, told The Kabul Times that the number of those using smartphones has increased in the province, comparing to the past; therefore, most of the youth were still not interested in reading books. He asked the local government, the families and the youth to give more time for reading books instead of wasting their time on smartphones. “I am asking all the country’s youth to prefer reading books instead of using smartphones so that the reading culture is promoted in society,” Shariat said, adding that most youth in Helmand have turned to using smartphones, which is just wasting time. A number of youths in the province who are interested in reading books say there is a good environment for reading books in the province. They are asking other youth to go for reading books to increase their general knowledge. “There is now a good environment for reading in Helmand. Afghan youths should go for reading and not waste their valued time,” said Jan Agha, a resident and one of the youths in Helmand. This comes as the country’s Ministry of Information and Culture has stepped up efforts to promote the culture of reading and increase awareness among the youth as public awareness programs have been launched in most provinces of the country. Ehsanullah Walasmal

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.