Retired headmaster starts book bank to reach out to students in north Chennai. Liffy Thomas reports
Once a teacher, always a teacher: that’s how C.R. Jagannathan sees his journey from being a school teacher to becoming a franchisee owner of a book bank in Villivakkam. “In school, I taught mathematics to higher secondary school students and at the same time dealt with administrative work. My current role is an extension of my days as a teacher: I meet students and help them choose books,” says Jagannathan, who retired as headmaster from ICF Silver Jubilee Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Ayanavaram.
It was during a visit to Shri Vinayaka Engineering Book Bank in Anna Nagar to buy books for his daughter, then pursuing engineering, that the owner of the centre, Uma Shankar, made him the offer to run a franchisee. Thus began the humble centre in Villivakkam where engineering, MBA and MCA books are stocked. The retired teacher also underwent training in selection of books. It has a collection of 20,000 books and close to 4,000 members are enrolled. “I have many engineering pass-outs who hand over their books to the bank,” says Jagannathan, who offers discount to deserving students.
While there are many book banks in the city, some of which even offer books free of cost, Jagannathan says, such schemes benefit only a small section as they are offered on a first-come-first-serve-basis. “My fee is reasonable so that more students can benefit by lending a book,” he says. Six books can be borrowed for a semester at Rs.600.
Jagannathan and be contacted at 96000 57672, 94444 54239.