There are three things that will instantly pop in your mind when you think of Kolkata – mishti doi, Rabindranath Tagore, and books! No matter which locality you are in, you will always find a roadside book store that has at least one copy of Tagore’s work and a nearby mishtir dokan selling Bengali delicacies. That is how much we love them and spreading that love only makes us happier.
Speaking of which, a Bengali couple, Kalidas Haldar and Kumkum Haldar teamed up with a kirana store owner to open a free street library in Kolkata’s Patuli. What’s even better is that they took an old fridge and turned it into a bookshelf!
The couple had approached the kirana store owner, Tarapodh Kahar, and asked if they could use some space of his store to keep the books, reveal sources. Kahar readily agreed.
So now, just outside the store, there is a large shelf and the fridge-turned-shelf filled with books for elders and youngsters to read.
In a message that’s attached to the fridge, readers are asked to take a book for free and return it after a month. Anyone can contribute to the library. It says that the idea of this library is to help people develop a reading habit and create a “book-loving community”.
People online absolutely loved the initiative and hoped for more places to start similar libraries as well. Here’s what some of them said:
Few kirana store owners in #Kolkata have now opened a street library in South Kolkata where one can borrow a book for a month for free!!!
An old fridge & a bookshelf in the store are all they have now.
Love and respect for their initiative 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/CJGjMI3pct
— AncientHistory (@VisionHistory) March 30, 2021
Kumkum Haldar and her husband Kalidas Haldar, have kickstarted this street library in Patuli. Tarapada Kahar has lent a portion of his store for this.
A fridge and one bookshelf that is currently being used for keeping and displaying the books.
This city is ❤️ https://t.co/P96tde9mNi
— Satadru Mukherjee (@HataCurry) March 30, 2021
So proud to be a Kolkatan!
Definitely need more such initiatives!
— Keka De (@keka_ontherocks) March 30, 2021
Very encouraging…..hope other localities will follow this soon…..
— Soumen Ray (@Soumen171) March 30, 2021
— Rasheeda Bhagat (@rushbl) March 30, 2021
That's a good way to inculcate reading habit. https://t.co/ovYK1iogtA
— Ruchira Banerji (@BanerjiR) March 30, 2021
Love this initiative. 👍👌 https://t.co/oAzEKgp5rS
— Adite Banerjie (@adite) March 30, 2021
I’m sure avid readers will throng this place soon!