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20 lakh precious books damaged in J&K floods

20 lakh precious books damaged in J&K floods
Highlights

Sumaiya Sadiq, Chief Librarian of the College of Education, and her colleagues are busy cleaning the library hall of the college in Srinagar.

Private schools claim they lost 4.50 cr books

Jammu: Sumaiya Sadiq, Chief Librarian of the College of Education, and her colleagues are busy cleaning the library hall of the college in Srinagar.

“We had 50,000 books on various subjects. Each and every book has suffered irreparable damage as the library remained submerged in flood waters. I don’t know what to do with these damaged books,” Sadiq says, pointing at the evidence.
Some of the books that were saved (inset) thousands lying on the roads
“We had rare collection of Rabindranath Tagore’s paintings. We had visitor’s books since 1940s having notes of Abul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and other personalities. Everything is gone.”

After the flood waters receded in the Kashmir Valley, the extent of damage was found to have gone beyond life and property.

Twenty lakh books in libraries and private collections were damaged, sources say. Private schools claim they lost 4.50 crore books to the flood in September.

At the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Culture and Arts, 90 manuscripts dating back to the sixth century have suffered damage. The Academy has lost all its publications dating since 1958.

“We have lost all literature on Kashmiri, Dogri and Urdu,” an official says.

The floods didn’t spare 20,000 odd Persian, Urdu section books of the SPS Library either. Established over a century ago, the library building has developed cracks after the floods. The officials say fifth-sixth century Gilgit manuscripts, written on birch bark, have also been damaged.

The officials are in touch with their counterparts in the National Museum, New Delhi to restore the damaged manuscripts. More than one lakh books at the libraries of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Advocate General and High Court Bar Association are completely damaged.

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