Reading 4 All is an initiative by an 18-year-old A-level student, Sameen Zahra Bashir. From a young age, her visits to her village shocked her due to their lack of libraries in girls’ public schools. As an avid reader, Sameen could not comprehend that many girls were not given the privilege to venture into the wonderful world of reading.
Following her passion for graphic designing, she set up her custom notebook business and began the first steps of her journey to setting up Reading Rooms. The profit acquired from the sale of SamBooks was immediately set aside for the construction of potential Reading Rooms. After coordinating with the respective local authorities and government officials, as well as the school involved, Sameen was finally able to begin the process of physically setting up her first Reading Room at Rasulpur Tarar.
Alongside profits from SamBook, Sameen reached out to friends and family in hopes of more donations. She continued to advertise her initiative until she was able to acquire 3,500 books. Thus began the process of constructing the shelves and decorating the room. With the help of Cinepax, Beaconhouse, Lahore Grammar School, and Casa Hamza, the first Reading Room became a possibility. It was a euphoric experience for Sameen, seeing the impact it would have on dozens of girls at Rasulpur Tarar Government Girls Secondary School which catered to 683 students.
Another library followed after, at Vanike Tarar. It took several weeks to sort out the logistics and communicate with the relevant authorities in order to be able to set up the Reading Room with 5,000 books. It was a long process, but finally the second library was set up: catering to 1,400 girls studying from class 1 to intermediate level studies. It was heartwarming to gain such a grateful and wonderful response from the students using the library.
Sameen hopes to continue her initiative and is currently in the process of setting up a third Reading Room – with many more to follow:
“We all know why reading is important in our day-to-day lives, but have you wondered why it is absolutely essential for children to venture into the imaginative world of reading? Shouldn’t everyone have the ability to explore a world beyond the boundaries of reality?”
It is easy to search for a book online or go to a bookstore and browse a book of our choice, but what about those who are not able to simply buy a book at the store or even access it online? SamBook aims to set up reading rooms in rural public schools. All proceeds from their sales are going towards building racks and purchasing books.
“Your support would help us immensely!” they add.