ISLAMABAD: The National Book Foundation (NBF) has taken a number of steps to inculcate book-reading habit among the masses, and in its recent drive of reviving the Readers Club Scheme, around 20,000 book lovers got the club membership cards.
Under this scheme, members can purchase books of their choice at a 50 percent discount, an official of the foundation told APP on Monday.
He said the most-awaited and popular Readers Club scheme earlier remained suspended for four years due to financial constraints and was launched again in November last year to promote the habit of book reading among the people.
“The scheme has been launched again in all major cities across the country,” he said. He further said, “The Planning Commission has released funds amounting to Rs 30 million for the purpose, and books will be sold to the members at a 50 percent discount.”
The NBF is endeavouring to revive the book-reading culture in the country, especially among the youth, to engage them in a healthy activity.
Besides promoting reading habits, he stated, it would encourage the overall book industry, help increase literacy rate, create reasonable demand for good quality reading material and motivate the younger generation to promote the reading culture in society.
The NBF is also running a number of schemes for book promotion and encouraging the reading habit among the masses, which include ‘book clubs’, ‘book ambassadors’, ‘donation of Pakistani books abroad’, ‘promotion of children literature’, ‘books for children and neo-literates’ and the ‘Braille press’.
Giving details, the official said that under these schemes, the NBF had established book clubs in villages and cities, Children’s Book Clubs, Prisoners’ Free Minds Book Clubs, Senior Citizens’ Book Clubs, Travellers’ Book Clubs (books on wheels), Flying Book Clubs and Hospital Book Clubs.
“The NBF has come up with another novel idea to appoint book-loving celebrities of the country as book ambassadors to play their role in promoting the book-reading habit,” he further said.
The scheme ‘donation of Pakistani books abroad’ aims at improving Pakistan’s image and introducing Pakistani culture abroad through books. Under this project, books are sent to Pakistani missions abroad and Pakistani chairs in foreign universities.
Printed copies of the selected manuscripts and books for children are purchased for free distribution to school libraries all over the country under the ‘promotion of children literature’, the NBF official said.
He added that cash awards were also given to the authors on their best books.
“The ‘books for children and neo-literates’ scheme envisages development of suitable manuscripts and publishing of good quality supplementary reading material for children,” he maintained.
The Braille books are provided to the visually disabled persons, almost free of cost. The Braille books include the Holy Quran with Urdu translation, which is one of its kind in the world, Bang-e-Dara, Bal-e-Jabriel along with more than 108 other publications of national importance, the official said.
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