A public library with a collection of 11,000 books, including three thousand copies of Bhagavad Gita, was allegedly set on fire by miscreants in Mysuru on Friday, 9 April, reported The New Indian Express.
The library was run by a 62-year-old daily wage labourer Syed Isaaq. His initiative made him popular in city’s Rajiv Nagar and Shanti Nagar, as he had been providing free access to all the residents in the vicinity for the last 10 years.
According to Syed, miscreants had earlier caused trouble to his library. He said that he was informed about the fire in the library at 4 am by someone residing near the library.
“At 4 am, a man residing next to the library informed me that there was a fire inside. When I rushed to the library which is just a stone's throw away distance, I could only see them being reduced to ashes,” Isaaq was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
‘Will Rebuild Library From Scratch’
The library that had 17 newspapers, including the ones in Kannada, English, Urdu and Tamil, was set up to inculcate reading habits among the people and encourage them to learn Kannada. Over 100-150 people would reportedly visit the library daily.
“The library had over 1,000 copies of the Quran and the Bible, 3,000 exquisite collections of the Bhagavad Gita besides thousands of books of various genres which I sourced from donors.”Syed Isaaq
Isaaq would spend around Rs 6,000 on the purchase of newspapers and for the maintenance of the library.
An FIR, under the IPC Section 436, has been filed in the matter and a probe is underway.
A sofa repair shed next to his library also caught the fire and was burnt down. The area near the library is used as a garbage dump, which is often set ablaze. The police suspect this, along with un-stubbed cigarette butts, to have set the library on fire.
Isaaq said that the incident has not deterred his spirit. “I will not cow down. I will rebuild the library from scratch,” he said.
He further said that he was deprived of education and wants to ensure that others should not face his plight. “I want people to learn, read and speak Kannada and will rebuild it again,” he added.
(With inputs from The New Indian Express, The News Minute)