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Libraries in peril

Libraries in peril
Highlights

It is 8 am Ravi Kumar K, an octogenarian makes his way through the labyrinth of paths and is heading to the Chintal Basti library As he trudges along, young somethings with heavy school bags jostle among themselves and pass through the library Not once have they visited the library and most even do not care of its existence

It is 8 am. Ravi Kumar K, an octogenarian makes his way through the labyrinth of paths and is heading to the Chintal Basti library. As he trudges along, young somethings with heavy school bags jostle among themselves and pass through the library. Not once have they visited the library and most even do not care of its existence.

In the meanwhile, Ravi Kumar reaches the library and would be spending 45 minutes flipping through a few vernacular dailies. He does not have anyone else for company, save the ayah, for few visit the library. This in a way sums up the state of government run libraries in the city.

The sad state of affairs that befell the libraries are in a way the government’s own doing. No new stock of books is added and in some cases it has been close to a decade. (See box) N Srinivas, in-charge of Chintal Basti branch said, “The condition of our library is turning worse by the day. There is a slab leakage and books get damaged. There are few books left and it has been several years since we received fresh stock.”

Even in one of the better run libraries, the state of affairs is not that good. Devender, in-charge of Hyderabad City Grandhalaya Samstha, Bakaram branch said, “We have only two rooms, one used for storing books and the other for reading. There is no special space for newspapers and we are placing them in the corners of two rooms. Around 40 members visit our library daily; most of them are students preparing for Group exams.”

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