A group of the University of Balochistan (UoB) students has established the ‘Sariab Readers Club’ in Quetta, a community initiative aimed at promoting literacy and book accessibility by delivering free books to residents’ doorsteps. The readers club utilizes social media platforms, including Facebook and WhatsApp, to post a selection of nearly 600 book titles accompanied by brief descriptions, allowing users to browse and choose their preferred reads.
Anees-ur-Rehman, one of the club’s volunteers, shared that he and his fellow students distribute more than 400 books per month using their personal funds. The selected books are listed on Facebook and WhatsApp groups, and the first reader to express interest in a book title provides their address for delivery. The volunteers then deliver the book using either bicycles or motorbikes. After a month, the book is returned and made available again for other readers.
The Sariab Readers Club operates without charging any fees, and its volunteers cover the costs of petrol and other expenses themselves, ensuring access to literature is as easy and inclusive as possible. Most available books have been donated from the students’ personal libraries.
According to Anees, the club has attracted around 400 regular readers, and more people are now donating books to the cause. The Sariab Readers Club was established during the COVID-19 pandemic in Quetta’s former crime-ridden and underdeveloped area. It has since expanded across the city and into other remote regions of Balochistan. Following the Sariab Readers Club’s success, a similar project called the ‘Kharan Readers Club’ was initiated in Balochistan’s Kharan district.
With ambitious plans for the future, Anees aspires to create “Readers Clubs” in every district of Balochistan, aiming to bring knowledge and the joy of reading to every household in Balochistan.