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Speech at the Foundation Stone Laying of Al-Ilmu Reading Room 1960-10-01

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Event - 1960-10-01
Saturday, 1960, October 1
Africa Ismaili, New Series
Hazar Imam in Bombay 1960

On lst October 1960, His Royal Highness laid the foundation stone of the Reading Room building of Prince Aga Khan Students' Union, Kharadhar, Karachi. This institution which was established in 1932, is doing very useful work by providing fees and books to deserving students. The honorary workers of the Union, with great efforts and in details, carried out an educational survey of their area in order to determine the needs and requirements of Ismaili Students. They have also underway a scheme to start a mass educational centre. Once after going through their report, His Royal Highness Prince Aga Khan wrote to them ‘I send you my best blessings for the excellent and imaginative work you are doing'. He was graciously pleased to suggest ‘Al-Ilmu Reading Room' as the name of the building.

To the Chairman & Members of the Students Union.

"I should congratulate them most heartily on the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony of their new Reading Room. I feel that by having this Reading Room and in this particular locality so close to our Jamatkhana, to our secondary school and to our maternity home, we could not have a better institution in a more appropriate place.

I should also say that the Students' Union had carried out a very interesting survey on the number of students attending school and those passing their examinations in this district of Karachi and I hope that every year they would be able to do some survey as it is extremely useful, not only to myself, but it would be useful to the Central Education Board as well.

With reference to the use of the reading room, I believe that in the years to come, you will find that it is more of a habit than a discipline if you can encourage the students to make it a habit to come and do their home work in the Reading Room for a certain number of hours either in the morning or in the evening and by using the Reading Room as the place where they do their work and this so long as we have non-resident schools, would be the more appropriate place for them to do their studies. I hope therefore the members of the Students' Union will encourage all the primary and secondary students, not only to use the books which are made available to them but actually to do most of their work in this building.

Once again to the members of the Union, I congratulate them and I have told them that if they wish for an air-conditioning unit they may have it but on the other hand if they feel that they would like some other facility for the equivalent sum then of course they may take what they wish.

Thank you."

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