Floodwaters have receded from various parts of Tamil Nadu, but people’s generosity has not disappeared with it.
Close to two months after the alarming floods, people from across the country are still sending help; this time, to ensure that public libraries flourish once again.
Save Library campaign and Isha Foundation are together working to ensure that the public libraries have books to replace the ones that were damaged during the floods.
According some estimates, over three lakh books in libraries in the flood-hit areas were damaged, not to mention book racks and buildings.
Writer and general secretary of VCK Ravi Kumar began the ‘Save Library’ campaign immediately after the floods.
Ravi Kumar told The News Minute, “I was doing relief work in Cuddalore when I figured out that public libraries in Tamil Nadu (flood-hit areas) were in a shambles. I began the ‘Save Library’ campaign and asked people to contribute books for these libraries.”
In the beginning, ‘Save Library’ campaign provided 1,000 books to public libraries along with Rs 20,000 towards repair works for the buildings in Cuddalore district, and Rs 15,000 for book racks in Thiruvallur district.
However, towards the end of January, NGO Isha Foundation joined hands with them. Together, they have collected Rs 38 lakh and about 16,000 books with 5,000 titles for public libraries in Chennai, says Sriram, a volunteer with Isha Foundation. The final count was overwhelming: their initial target was collecting Rs 10 lakh.
“Many publishers gave us between 50 percent and 90 percent discount on the books. A professor from Kolkata sent about 3,000 books,” Ravi Kumar said.
The campaign has collected both fiction and non-fiction, has books for children, and youngsters who wish to take exams for higher education and the civil services.
“The kindness of people has manifested in a meaningful result. Mission Accomplished,” says Sriram.