Literature on wheels

Literature on wheels
Highlights

While a whole lot of literary giants gracing the World Telugu Conference (WTC) spreading the fragrance of the language, elsewhere 250 km east of Hyderabad in the tribal pockets of Yellandu the 54-year-old Sheik Sadiq Ali, a former journo, is sweating out pushing a cartload of Telugu poetry and literature with a sole aim of cultivating seeds of literary sense among the children.

Warangal/Khammam: While a whole lot of literary giants gracing the World Telugu Conference (WTC) spreading the fragrance of the language, elsewhere 250 km east of Hyderabad in the tribal pockets of Yellandu the 54-year-old Sheik Sadiq Ali, a former journo, is sweating out pushing a cartload of Telugu poetry and literature with a sole aim of cultivating seeds of literary sense among the children.

Sadiq, who hails from Wardhannapet and lives in Hanamkonda, was born at Kallur in Khammam district. A post-graduate in Telugu literature from Osmania University, Sadiq early in his career had worked with a top vernacular daily before moving to freelancing through the 80s and 90s. Later, he ran a matrimonial bureau for some time.

A couple of years ago when he was at the Hyderabad National Book Fair, the thought of taking out the literature to the doorsteps of rural folk flashed through his mind. That was enough for Sadiq who has all the eccentricities of a maverick to implement his idea.

It was on February 22, 2015, he set out from Hyderabad to rural areas pushing a four-wheel cart (Thopudu Bandi) loaded up with books. The lesson number one he learnt was small is beautiful as people showed no interest in buying hefty books. Later, he started to distribute books to children free-of-cost, accrued through his own earnings and literary lovers.

Sadiq had so far toured parts of Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Nalgonda and Warangal (undivided) districts pushing his cart covering a distance of around 1,650 km. Currently, he is on a 100-day sojourn of tribal pockets of Bhadradri- Kothagudem district.

Talking to The Hans India, Sadiq said: “The very sight of glitter in the eyes of children when they find a book in their hand intoxicates me. Book reading not just enhances knowledge but also makes the children better citizens.”

Sadiq attributes his love for book reading to a library in Kallur, which no more exists. However, Sadiq has plans to fill this void by constructing a library at Kallur with an outlay of Rs 30 lakh. This way I can give something back to my grandma’s village. Better part of my childhood is associated with this library and what is my life today is its impact, Sadiq said.

Literary critic Prasen of Khammam said: “Sadiq is one who believes in deeds more than in words. Inculcating passion for book reading among the people, especially children, is Sadiq’s one and only aim.

He is striving for a knowledge-based society by propagating book reading, besides helping to set up libraries in rural areas.” There are plenty of philanthropists who can donate to their mite but reaching out the people with a Thopudu Bandi is something special, Prasen said.

By Adepu Mahender

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