Hailing from the quaint little village of Tusrar in Uttarakhand, Himanshu Kafaltia used to trek 4 km to reach his school while dreaming of becoming a civil servant.

And today, he is the sub-divisional magistrate of Karnaprayag.

The journey to his goal, however, was harder than he had imagined. Owing to the unavailability of proper resources, he had to leave his hometown for education.

When he moved to Delhi to make his dream come true, he promised himself to one day make it easier for the next generation to achieve their goals.

Doing precisely that, the SDM has opened 16 libraries across the state and aspires to reach every remote village in Uttarakhand.

So far, he has set up libraries in villages such as Banbasa, Gyankheda, Ucholigoth, Kaligunth, Sukhidhang, Salli, Taliyabaanj, Budam, Danda, Fagpur, Chhinigoth, Tusrar and Nai.

The SDM has set up a Pathak Club (reader’s club) in every village. The members of the club along with the villagers are in charge of cleaning, repairing and maintaining the books.

The libraries are open 24 hours a day. Students come to the library as early as 5 am and sometimes stay till late into the night.

Additionally, Himanshu sets up interactions with officers, poets and writers to encourage the students and provide them with career counselling.

“These libraries are a ray of hope for them, more than anything else. Since I too come from a very rural background, I can relate to these kids on a deeper level,” he says.