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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Mumbai: Senior citizens set up free library on Mulund footpath to promote reading

Anyone can pick up a book of their choice from the library at Khandoba Mandir and take it away for free after writing down their name and contact number on a register, and return it later.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
December 25, 2021 8:09:07 pm
The open library is not guarded by anyone and is open 24 hours a day.

A few social workers have set up a 24×7 library on a footpath in Mulund (east) where people can come and pick up books for free. The library at Khandoba Mandir chowk has a collection of more than 2,000 books on a wide variety of subjects, donated mainly by senior citizens across Mumbai.

Anyone can pick up a book of their choice and take it away for free after writing down their name and contact number on a register, and return it later.

Senior citizens like Sadanand Desai, a mechanical engineer, Jaywant Hargude, retired assistant police commissioner, Deepak Khedkar, a journalist, and Jayshree Bise, a businesswoman, are some of the people who have donated books to the library.

Desai, 73, told the Indian Express: “My late wife and I loved reading and collecting books. We had a collection of more than 500 books. After she passed away, I thought I should donate the books so people could get to read them for free. It includes a biography of politician Sharad Pawar.”

“It’s a good initiative and the best thing is that the footpath where the library is located has minimal vehicular traffic and has some greenery around it,” added Desai.

Ramesh Meshram, a senior citizen who came up with the idea, said: “These days, when everyone at home is hooked to their phones, I wanted old people to have a space where they can sit and read or take a book back home as a good time pass. There is Kelkar college nearby and the students passing by pick up books on their way home.”

Shubham Gavand, an ITI student, said: “I picked up a book related to public speech as I wanted to increase my confidence while addressing an audience during presentations.”

Heena Savla, a resident, said: “ I picked up a motivational book. It’s a good initiative and I hope it will help to get people to read books.”

The open library is not guarded by anyone and is open 24 hours a day. “Few people said that the books might get stolen, but we are not worried about that. It is our endeavour to get people to read books,” added Meshram.

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