Sitting idle in your vehicle stuck in never-ending gridlock in a jam-packed city like Dhaka can leave you cranky and stressed, ruining your mood for the whole day at the office and affecting your work. So, next time if you find yourself stuck, you may pick a book of your choice in the vehicle you are riding in to prevent stress, boredom and anger.
This has been made possible with the Social Chain for Development (SCD) arranging a new book-reading facility inside buses in the city, where a passenger will be able to choose books as per his or her choice from a shelf put in a corner.
They can take and read as many books as they wish during their journey and are expected to put them in the shelf before getting off.
With an aim to help passengers utilize their time in an effective way and to encourage good reading habits, the voluntary organization introduced the service on January 27 under the project “Boibondhu,” initially on six buses of VIP 27 that ply the 37km Azimpur-Shibbari route.
There are 40 books of different types in each of the six buses, including biography, history, romance, poetry and motivational.
“The book-reading facility was increasingly gaining popularity among passengers, Wahid Uddin, a staff of the VIP-27 transport service, told the Dhaka Tribune.
“It’s now available on only six out of around 100 buses we run on the route. The service should be expanded to the remaining buses as it’s increasingly receiving positive feedback from passengers.”
Traffic jams in Dhaka eat up 3.2 million working hours each day and drain billions of dollars from the city’s economy annually, according to a World Bank report released last year.
“We waste most of our time battling heavy traffic on the way to work. I think it’s a very impressive facility as we could now be able to spend our time in a fruitful way by reading books on our way to and from office,” said Arman Kabir, a resident who regularly commutes between Uttara and New Market for work.
The SCD authorities said they launched the service with books donated by book lovers, but now many writers are also donating their books to the organization.
They also requested publishers to donate books so they can expand the facility.
“Initially, we have made the service available on six buses. As we are receiving positive feedback from both passengers and transport owners, we decided to expand it to a further 10 buses of VIP 27 by this month,” SCD Founding President Aminul Islam said.
“We conducted a survey that found people with nothing to do waiting for long hours at hospitals or doctors’ chambers. We discussed the matter with some private hospitals and urged them to arrange shelves containing books of different types so service seekers can utilize their time in a meaningful way.”
The service will also be made available on Shitol Paribahan buses, which shuttle between Narayanganj and Gulistan, towards the end of this month, according to Aminul, who added that they would gradually make it available on long-route buses and in launches and railway stations across the country.