Chennai

Creating a library out of retirement benefits

Reired professor V. Arasu spent Rs. 15 lakh to create library for research students—Photo: Special Arrangement

Reired professor V. Arasu spent Rs. 15 lakh to create library for research students—Photo: Special Arrangement  

It is common for a person to invest retirement benefits for a secure future. However, V. Arasu, former head of the Tamil Department of University of Madras, has spent Rs. 15 lakh to create an academic library for the benefit of research students at his residence in Perungudi in Chennai.

The library has 15,000 Tamil books and 5,000 English books, particularly books on Tamil literature and culture. “Keeping the collection in good condition has always been a challenge, especially when you live in a rented house and shift frequently. We used to keep them under the cot. Now they have found a safe place,” said Mr. Arasu, who started collecting books since his college days in the 1970s.

He has all the dictionaries published in Tamil, over a thousand books on Eelam literature, 3,000 literary magazines that created new trends in Tamil literature, souvenirs on great Tamil scholars, including U.V. Swaminatha Iyer, R.P. Sethu Pillai and theatre personality Pammal Sambanda Mudaliar.

Mr. Arasu acknowledged the help rendered by architect Mahesh Radhakrishnan who designed the library on the second floor of the house with adequate aeration.

The racks were created with wood used for packing materials, treated in chemicals to keep away insects.

“The library is open to all serious and committed students. Even while I was teaching in the university, we had always had one student or the other staying with us,” said Mr. Arasu, who has created a separate room for students in the library.



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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 12:00:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/creating-a-library-out-of-retirement-benefits/article8019846.ece

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