Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Many things changed during the pandemic as people were restricted to their homes during the lockdown. For book lovers, the availability of books also became an issue. So, we decided, if people can't step out to take books, why not take the books to them?
With this thought in mind, we decided to open the Library On Wheels for the people of Punjab's Hoshiarpur district. We modified an e-rickshaw with bookshelves and transformed it into a library. Our agenda was to provide books to the people at their doorsteps.
We, at Hoshiarpur Literary Society, have two mobile libraries where we have a total of 600 books. We park the libraries at different locations five days a week.
"The literary society approached me to park the library two days a week. That was a good decision on their part, and I immediately agreed to it. I can see people showing interest in this."Anil Sood, Fuel Station Owner
"In schools, children can get books from their libraries, but getting books is challenging for others. So, in that regard, it's a good initiative by the Hoshiarpur Literary Society. Any person can issue a book from here. And the choice of parking spot is also good as people would come to the fuel station and can issue books."Kundan Singh, Teacher
When someone comes to take a book from us, we take a copy of their Aadhaar and Rs 200 as a security deposit. The book is issued for 25 days, and after that, the book has to be returned. We call the people who rented our books after 25 days. We give the book only for people to read on rent. We don't sell books.
Books have a card in them where dates of issue and return are mentioned. When anyone takes a book, we mention the date; when they return the book, we add the date. It also has the name of the book.
'Sustainability Of The Project Is A Big Issue'
The project still needs a sustainable funding system. We heavily rely on book donations. We don't have books sometimes. We can't buy books every time there is a request. Some books that are requested are costly, and we don't have them.
People are asking for entrance exam books, Wren and Martin's language books which I could not fathom. There is a massive demand for such books in the small town.
We don't even know whether we will be able to sustain this model in the next two to three months. There are times when the drivers don't get their salaries. We get some help from the Red Cross. Sometimes the salaries are delayed, so we must give that from our funds. We want more and more people to come forward and donate to us.
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