When politics burnt down a library
5,000 thousand books were lost in a massive fire that broke out in the AKG Memorial Library in Thalookara village, Kerala. The library fell as a victim of political tussle between two rival parties and was torched in the wee hours of March 23. More than 5,000 books, several rare manuscripts and numerous musical instruments got burnt down. The cost of the damages were estimated to be around Rs. 40 lakh. What followed the arson and destruction of the library is a heart-warming story.
People’s power reigns supreme
Volunteers mobilized support to restore on the ground and social media to restore the Library. The outpour of help from people was overwhelming. With the help of social media, the library has gained back its stature and now has over 10,000 books to its name and within a span of a month.
Social media does it again
When the news of the fire broke out, it had gone viral in social media. Seeing the news, many individuals came forward offering library books from their own collections. A Facebook group called “Book Collection” was formed, helping students and other volunteers coordinate with individuals wishing to donate books. Volunteers went on collecting books across the state on their vehicles, giving the name “Pusthakavandi” (The Book Vehicle).
This was by far the biggest book collection drive in Kerala, with people participating from Delhi University, JNU, Hyderabad University. Individuals from different countries like the US, UK and Middle East also came to help funding this initiative with books. Many of them used online book stores to deliver new books, others deposited money to library’s bank account. Not only books, but funds are being also collected for the reconstruction of the library.
The Logical Indian would like to thank all the people who came forward to restore the library. It is truly a lesson for all us that when people come together for a cause, even the impossible is possible.