SRINAGAR A senior IPS officer has started distributing free books to students, hailing from remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, in order to help them crack competitive examinations.
Basant Rath, an IGP rank officer, uses social media to reach out to aspirants who want to crack competitive examinations like NEET and JEE.
“Anyone needs a book on UGC NET Commerce? DM (direct message) me your complete address and mobile number,” he tweeted.
“Friends, if you are from Kupwara, Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama or Shopian and if you want this book, please come over to my place on Sunday between 1 PM to 3 PM. No questions asked. No answers given,” he wrote in another tweet.
The police officer from Odisha feels that people from remote parts of the state are as talented as those in the cities and towns but lack of resources often become a major obstacle in their progress.
“Right now the focus is to reach out to those who do not have access to good resource material for appearing in the examinations — the far flung areas of the state,” Rath told PTI.
Rath shot to fame last year with his unorthodox but highly effective ways of addressing the unruly traffic scene in the state, especially in Srinagar and Jammu cities. He has not given up his unorthodox ways yet.
The officer is a frequent visitor to Srinagar’s flea market every Sunday where he sets up his own stall and puts hundreds of books on display. Anyone can take one book without any question being asked.
The officer is keen on working out a mechanism through which the students do not have to reach out to him as it would entail travelling to Srinagar. He is looking for a reliable courier service that can deliver the books the same day.
“I need a Srinagar-based courier service that’ll do same day delivery in the valley. For bulk orders. Can anyone help?” he tweeted.
Rath has so far distributed several thousand books. Asked about who funds the initiative, the officer said he has to respect the privacy of those contributing to the cause.
“There are some people who are providing the books but want to remain anonymous. So we have to respect their wishes,” he said.
Some people have criticised Rath for being too ‘pro-Kashmir’ while ignoring Jammu region in his social work but he chooses not to respond to these allegations.
“I would rather spend my energies on positive efforts that respond to negativity,” he said.
A local youth, who helps the officer sometimes at his book stall at Sunday market, came to his defence saying there are already people associated with Rath who are doing the same thing in the Jammu region.
Asked about his future plans, Rath said he will definitely start providing books that will help students in cracking GATE and UPSC examinations in near future. (PTI)