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In 150 Days as District Magistrate, Young IAS Faiz Ahmed Opens 100 Public Libraries in Jharkhand

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“We have provided competitive books for engineering, medical, banking exams etc. Now students from villages will not need to go to Patna or Delhi for coaching” Faiz Ahmed, District Magistrate, Jamtara

By Mumtaz Alam

This is rare and so seems unbelievable, but it is True. This young IAS officer from 2013 batch is doing wonders in one of the backward districts of the country. In the last five months, Faiz Aquil Ahmed Mumtaz, District Magistrate of Jamtara, 250 kms from Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, has renovated and refurbished 118 dilapidated and deserted government buildings in as many panchayats and turned them into public libraries. He has already inaugurated 99 of them and will open the rest in the next 10 days.

Talking to this reporter on phone from Jamtara, the DM said these libraries are going to leave huge impact on the areas and they will bring big changes.

He assumed office of Jamtara District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner in July 2020 and from October he started working on his mission library. By 28th February, he has inaugurated 99 libraries and dedicated them to people. He is hopeful of big changes these libraries will bring in the villages.

“Definitely, the impact and changes will be huge. They are very nice, well-made and good libraries with nice slogans written on the walls. They have good competitive books for engineering, medical and banking examinations. We are also motivating the students,” said the Jamtara DM.

Government officials also visit the libraries once a week and guide the aspirants, he informed.

“Now the students don’t need to go to Patna or Delhi to prepare for competitive exams. They can remain in the villages and do that. People from lower class and lower middle class cannot afford coaching and so they give up hope. Now these libraries will help them a lot. I am sure literacy should also improve. Results will be visible in a year or two,” said IAS Faiz Ahmed who had secured 17th rank among 1122 successful candidates in the Civil Services Examinations 2013. After training, he was posted as Sub Divisional Magistrate, Deputy District Commissioner, and transport commissioner. In July last year, he was appointed District Magistrate.

After assuming office of the DM, he had planned to open 30 libraries in the current financial year in the district but in view of the huge positive response and demands from the local students, he decided to open one library in each of 118 panchayats of the district.

“The response of the people has been great. First, we had planned 30 libraries only in the current financial year but students from villages started coming to meet me in groups and asking for library in their villages. Then we planned to open libraries in all 118 panchayats of the district. All the libraries are ready. We have already inaugurated 99. In the next 10 days, we will inaugurate the rest,” said the DM.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren has lauded the DM’s efforts and he is getting full support from the state government.

These are basically old and dilapidated buildings which were left and had become abode of snakes and insects. The IAS officer renovated those buildings and turned them into libraries.

When asked about the role libraries played in his own successful journey, IAS Faiz Ahmed said libraries play very big role in success.

“Teachers can only guide you. You have to work very hard yourself. For this, you have to sit somewhere and spend 5-6 hours on books. This is what libraries can help you do,” he said.

In villages, houses are small and families are big. It does not help in creating ambience for study. At libraries one can dedicate himself to study.

IAS Faiz Ahmed, who hails from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, got education in Darjeeling district of West Bengal before moving to Delhi for preparation for Civil Services Exam. He got enrolled at Jamia Millia Islamia’s Residential Coaching Academy and cleared the country’s one of the toughest exams with 17th rank in June 2014.