The book in your hands

Community libraries are becoming spaces that provide peace, respite and learning for children and young adults, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds


She was six years old, and petrified of the books that lined the walls. This was not a place she was familiar with. The little girl hid behind her siblings, peering out now and then. Gradually, she began to explore the rooms and pick up a book or two. Soon, she was not scared of books — or people — anymore.

There’s a touch of the old-school about the community library at Panchsheel Vihar, a residential colony in Delhi. There are rows and rows of books, and a centre table around which members sit and read. There is a quiet sense of camaraderie among the children and the young adults who browse through the books. The Community Library Project (TCLP) seeks to set up, in association with NGOs, similar libraries across the country where people can borrow books free of charge. It wants to inculcate the reading habit among the young to “democratise” society, says its founder Mridula Koshy.........Read more


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