Syed Ishaq rebuilds library in Rajiv Nagar in Mysuru

The decorated public library rebuilt by Syed Ishaq.

The decorated public library rebuilt by Syed Ishaq.

More than nine months after the public library he started in Rajiv Nagar in Mysuru was destroyed in a fire accident, Syed Ishaq, the 64-year-old daily wager, has managed to put in place a makeshift structure in the same place to house his collection of books.

The public library rebuilt with corrugated metal sheets was inaugurated on the occasion of Republic Day in the presence of seer of Suttur Mutt Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, former Mayor Ayub and representatives of various Kannada organisations on Wednesday.

Though Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) and the Department of Libraries, Government of Karnataka, had promised to rebuild the library, the promise had remained unfulfilled for various reasons, forcing Mr. Ishaq to take up the construction of the library through the funds he had received from people’s representatives including former Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan, Mr. Pratap Simha, Minister for Cooperation S.T. Somashekar and others.

The rebuilt library now offers the reading public not only more than 1,300 books in various languages particularly Kannada, but also daily newspapers in Kannada, English and Urdu. Mr. Ishaq is hoping to accommodate hundreds of more books that had already been collected and donated to the library by various people and organisations.

After the library was destroyed in an accidental fire in April last year, MCC, Department of Libraries and Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) had jointly decided to take up the responsibility of constructing a full-fledged library. While the MUDA offered the plot of land for construction of library, the process of construction of the building continued to be delayed, much to the disappointment of Mr. Ishaq.

Mr. Ishaq, who professes his love for Kannada and passion for spreading knowledge among the locals, continued to subscribe for a total of 18 newspapers, besides bringing a small collection of books from his house nearby to the library every day and taking them back.

But, during the rainy season, he used to struggle to keep the books and newspapers dry. As the construction of the full-fledged library by the government continued to be delayed, he decided to put up a shelter and took up the construction of a makeshift structure using the funds donated by the people’s representatives and others.

“About 100 to 120 people come to the library every day to read the newspapers and books. With the new structure in place, I expect the numbers to go up to 170 to 180 every day”, he said.

While he had spent around ₹4 lakh for the makeshift structure, Mr. Ishaq said the donations amounted to around ₹3.5 lakh. “I raised the remaining money by cleaning drainages, painting and doing other odd jobs”, he told reporters after the inauguration of the make-shift structure on Wednesday. Mr. Ishaq said he would like to appeal to the government authorities against making “false promises”.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 8:17:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/syed-ishaq-rebuilds-library-in-rajiv-nagar-in-mysuru/article38329426.ece