Three government bodies are set to rebuild a¬†library¬†building in¬†Mysuru¬†at the same spot where it was burnt down on April 9. The library was maintained by¬†62-year-old daily wage labourer Syed Issaq and¬†had around 11,000 books, but it was burnt down after a drunk man disposed of a lit matchstick after lighting a beedi near the¬†library.¬†The¬†Mysuru¬†Urban Development Authority (MUDA), the municipal authority¬†Mysuru¬†City Corporation (MCC) and the Department of¬†Libraries, a department under the state government, are now set to rebuild the¬†library, after massive public support for Syed and his library.¬†
This comes after online fundraisers for rebuilding the library, started by IT professional¬†Fathaheen Misbah on Ketto and Milaap on April 10, collected Rs 29 lakh. On April 15,¬† MUDA, MCC, and the Department of¬†Libraries¬†released a statement in which they said that the construction and maintenance will be taken over by the three authorities.¬†According to the statement, the governing bodies asked for the money raised by donations to be deposited into a newly created bank account, and that no other organization could collect money for the construction of the¬†library. The statement further stated that the remaining money after construction will be put in a Fixed Deposit account and the interest received from the account will be provided to Syed as an honorarium.
The governing authorities√Ę¬Ä¬ô move angered several people who took to Twitter to express their displeasure. Several of them who said they had donated to the cause,¬†demanded their money back if it was going to the government.
Following this, on April 17, Fathaheen said the government has taken it upon itself to rebuild the¬†library¬†with the new structure. She further said that inputs will be sought from the donors by Ketto and that their opinions will be respected.
On Tuesday,¬† Fathaheen tweeted, √Ę¬Ä¬úAs Govt has come forward & taken it upon themselves to execute this project, based on donor requests, we will be returning the valuable contributions to all donors.√Ę¬Ä¬Ě Hours later she tweeted that the refund has been initiated by Ketto.
Following this, TNM spoke to MUDA Commissioner Natesh who reacted saying, √Ę¬Ä¬úWe never asked anyone to gather donations and it also doesn√Ę¬Ä¬ôt matter if that is returned. Our intention is only to support Syed Issaq and his dream of spreading Kannada. We opened the account because there has to be transparency when it involves money of people who want to support the cause. We will still continue with it and we will build a¬†library.√Ę¬Ä¬Ě
He added, √Ę¬Ä¬úIs it possible to construct a¬†library¬†just from donations? As¬†libraries¬†come under education, even the education minister has also expressed his willingness to support the project.√Ę¬Ä¬Ě
Syed while speaking to TNM expressed his worry that the¬†library¬†could be run differently than he intended if the governing bodies take over, which includes having majorly Kannada books, decorating the¬†library¬†on days that hold significance to Kannada and having a Kannada flag.
He said, √Ę¬Ä¬úThe government has promised that I will be the one running the¬†library¬†but somewhere I am worried that restrictions might be imposed on the way I intend to run the place. I want to train my son or daughter to run this place just like I did even after I am gone. So, all I want is for the government to employ my son or daughter to run the place so I can teach them how to run the¬†library.√Ę¬Ä¬Ě
He further expressed his desire that a committee of Kannadigas be created by the authorities to look after the administration so that his intentions of starting a¬†library¬†to spread Kannada doesn√Ę¬Ä¬ôt come to an end after him.