Bhimphedi inmates excited about a new library inside the prisonThe setting up of the new library has not only excited voracious readers but also worked for the benefit of inmates who are pursuing education.
Swayambhu Gurung, an inmate serving term at Bhimphedi Regional Prison, was ecstatic on Thursday. He could now do what he loved the most—read. A new library has been established in the prison block.
“A person is sentenced to prison for various reasons. The prison holds a variety of people and in huge numbers so starting a library here ensures not just a source of entertainment but that of knowledge,” Gurung said. The prison had a library but there were only a small number of books. “The new library will have more than 2,500 books and I’m excited.”
Gurung, in his mid-thirties, was sentenced to 10 years on fraud charges some four years ago. A college graduate, Gurung is fond of reading and has been given the responsibility to run the library inside the prison.
On Thursday, Gurung was busy welcoming guests including Chief Minister of Province 3 Dormani Paudel at the inauguration of the library.
A new library was set up in Block A of the prison while more books and furniture were handed over to the library already established in Block B. Lions Club of Bhutandebi donated 2,500 books, furniture and a computer to the library of Block A. The club also provided some books for the library’s another block as well.
The setting up of the new library has not only created excitement among voracious readers like Gurung but also worked for the benefit of inmates who are pursuing their education from inside the prison.
“The old library has a limited number of books but now the new library is well-stocked. I can study for my Bachelor’s exam now,” said Pujan Bal.
Currently, there are 1,001 prisoners including 250 foreigners in Bhimphedi Regional Prison. According to the jail administration, around 40 percent of the inmates are illiterate and they hope that the variety of reading material in the new library will pique their interest in books and encourage them to read and write.
Jailer Prakash Khanal at the Bhimphedi Prison expressed his desire to start a basic school inside the prison. “I have urged Paudel to help us set up a basic school here. Such a school will be useful for illiterate prisoners; it will help them prepare for a life outside these cells.”