Gujarat: Muslim students allege discrimination, demand library in Ahmedabad

Muslim students from Danilimda area protest alleging discrimination and demanding a public library on Thursday. (Express photo)

Alleging discrimination, Muslim students from Danilimda area submitted a representation to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities on Thursday and demanded a public library for students. They also tried to carry out a rally in Danilimda but were stopped by the police claiming no prior approval for the same.

The representation submitted by Danilimda ward councillors on behalf of the students stated that all four councillors of Danilimda ward have been requesting the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to build a public library on an empty plot opposite the AMC ward office for the past four years. But no positive response has been received from the AMC so far.

At present, there is not a single public library in Danilimda ward. Due to this, students have to travel all the way to MJ Library on Ashram Road. We submitted the representation to Mayor Bijal Patel and municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra, said Shahjad Pathan, Danilimda councillor.

Pathan added that two years ago, a library was constructed above Ambedkar Hall but due to some reasons the inauguration was yet to be done.

What could be the reason behind not opening a library that was ready two years ago? It is sheer discrimination. Due to lack of space at home, we do not have any place to prepare for our exams or any other competitive examinations. We have to commute 7-8 kilometres one way to use MJ Library near Ellis Bridge. This is out of bound for girls who cannot stay back late, said Zaheer Saiyed, one of the students from the area.

Rahimbhai Sumra, another councillor of Danilimda, said, Even at MJ Library, many a times, children are denied registration or admission citing lack of space. We have to accompany students to request and get them admission at the library. Despite repeated requests, no one is bothered about Muslim children, majority from slum areas of Behrampura and Danilimda.