For centuries, the power of the written word has proved to be something incontrovertibly sublime.
It was perhaps this power that enticed the doyen of library movement in Andhra Pradesh, ‘Kalaprapoorna’ Paturi Nagabhushanam to circulate his powerful ideas and start a new tradition to redefine knowledge.
Besides heralding the library movement in Andhra Pradesh, he introduced an innovative concept of ‘boat libraries’ in1935.
A boat was the only means of transport for interior villages in Guntur those days and a good number of people who embarked on a journey would kill time chit-chatting or playing cards. It so happened one day while on board, Mr. Nagabhushanam was reading aloud some literature for women. He was immersed in the book and didn’t realise that a good number of women had surrounded him and were all ears. When he finished, they wanted him to read more such stuff to them. The idea of starting a ‘boat library’ flashed in his mind and it did not take too long for him to translate it into reality. He started a boat library between Pedavadlapudi and Kolluru with a small collection of books that were read aloud with an aim to bring into the fold even the unlettered persons onboard. The books that floated from one end to the other became an effective tool for educating the rural masses. After entrusting the upkeep of this floating library to a sweet vendor, he introduced another ‘boat library’ .