On June 19, Perumkulam, a village in Kerala’s Kollam district, was declared a Pusthaka Gramam (village of books) by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The announcement made on June 19, Nationwide Studying Day, makes it Kerala’s first such village. On the coronary heart of the announcement is its library, Bapuji Smaraka Vayanasala.
Author MT Vasudevan Nair first, informally, described the village thus in June 2020. Inspiration for it got here from Bhilar, in Maharashtra’s Satara district, which was declared Pustakanch Gaav (village of books) in 2017. Bhilar has specifically created areas with books to encourage studying. The office-bearers of Bapuji Smaraka Vayanasala have been decided to duplicate it of their village of 5,000-odd individuals. It’s a dream fulfilled for them.
“In 2017, earlier than Bhilar grew to become a ‘village of books,’ we had positioned our first public bookcase as an experiment at Radio Junction in our village,” says V Vijesh, faculty trainer and secretary of the library. It was shaped by a bunch of youth, in 1948, in reminiscence of Mahatma Gandhi. It acquired its personal constructing in 1957, which was renovated in 2016 with donations collected from members of the library and locals. Author M Mukundan is its patron.
Final yr, impressed by US-based Little Free Library — a ebook sharing motion by means of bookcases positioned in public areas — the library positioned 11 extra bookcases at varied places throughout the village. Every with 30 or so books primarily for youngsters, a number of for grown-ups and newspapers. It’s geared toward getting extra youngsters to learn. For the reason that Bapuji Library is registered with the Little Free Library, it reveals up of their map of ‘little libraries’.
Recognition as Kerala’s first ‘village of books’ is a large achievement for this library and its 600 plus members. The marketing campaign for the standing began with an official request to the State Authorities in November 2020. Based mostly on the advice of the State Library Council and inputs from the Taluk Library Council (Kottarakkara), the request was permitted and Perumkulam makes historical past as Kerala’s first ‘village of books’.
The library has been a part of many philanthropic actions together with being on the forefront of writing classes in notebooks for college students who had misplaced their faculty books within the floods of 2018.
Everybody within the village, particularly these related with the library, is elated. “We’re all very excited. That is the results of our teamwork the place members of golf equipment such because the youth membership, of senior residents, movie lovers, farmers, youngsters and Mukundan followers amongst others have been a part of the method.”
Bookcases have been adorned with garlands and flowers, as has the three-storey library constructing. A Muntingia tree (panjasaraa pazham) shall be planted to commemorate the occasion. “We’re calling it aksharaa maram (tree of letters). The tree provides shade and bears fruit too. Like studying it’s comforting and of nice worth,” Vijesh says.