75% Pakistanis have never read a book outside their syllabus – Gallup

Only 9% are avid readers.

Books play a fundamental role in nation-building and are a significant component in a person’s life. To acknowledge their importance and worth, annually on April 23rd, the world gets together to celebrate International Book Reading day.

However, it seems as though the students in Pakistan are unaware of this day and have become oblivious to the importance of books and reading. Students usually avoid reading books, and this is impacting our nation in many negative ways. Reading books makes a person more literate, educated, and rationalized, but it seems as if time passes by, students have forgotten the prominence of reading. This is one of the reasons why our nation is failing in the fight against radicalism since people have become intolerant of others’ views and opinions.

A recent survey was conducted by Gallup and Gillani Foundation Pakistan on 1,178 men and women in rural as well as urban areas of four provinces between 23rd February and 3rd March 2019. The survey revealed that only 9% of Pakistanis are keen readers and 75% aren’t reading any book.

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Professor Khadim Hussain, speaking to a progressive reporting platform Naya Daur, highlighted all the barriers that hinder the promotion of book reading in Pakistan. As per him, the first obstacle is that parents cease to develop a book reading habit in the child. As per him, book reading habits should be developed in a child from a young age.

The second obstacle is described by the professor in the following words:

“Book distribution is a huge barrier in the way of book reading culture because many publishers distribute their books in a limited area and this is the reason that most of the new publications remain unheard of in most parts of the country. This is why the book reading culture is not flourishing in Pakistan.” – he said speaking to Naya Daur.

The absence of book sessions being arranged by government-run organizations (National Book Foundation etc.) is another reason as per Professor Khadim. He thinks that such sessions can help provoke a habit of reading books. He also suggested the students and teachers arrange study circles so more and more students will get interested in reading.

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