Dr Jaswant Singh, an NRI who was known for introducing the library-on-wheels in Punjab in 2007, and later a digital library in his native village Jorahan in Mandi Ahmedgarh of Ludhiana district in 2010, passed away after a cardiac arrest at his home in New York on Sunday. He was 90.
Dr Singh used to come to India on a regular basis to inculcate reading habits among Punjabis. He had served as a professor in Punjabi University’s library and information department till 1964 before he moved to Canada for higher studies and later settled in the US.
He had a Ph.D in library science from Western Michigan University and served in American schools for decades.
“Inspired by him, over 10 NRIs across the state had converted their houses into libraries while few local residents have also opened libraries. he used to visit 2-3 times a year to see the work of nearly 20 village libraries. Due to health issues, however, he could not come for the past two years. He was expected in April this year, but because of Covid, his visit was cancelled,” said Dr Amarjeet Singh, his old college friend.
Makhan Lal Garg, convener of Punjab library movement, said, “We are pained to hear this news that he is no more with us. His digital library developed in his village Jorahan is one of its kind, and is being maintained by locals. He was spending from his pocket for its maintenance.”
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