A group of students in Pune has started what they call an 'Open Library Movement' and as a part of the unique initiative have installed an open bookshelf at Jeet playground in Kothrud. The library is open 24 hours, all seven days of the week and can be accessed by anyone.
As of now, the library has 200 books but they are planning to expand the collection, depending on the number of books the group receives from people.
The books in the collection include a wide range of English and Marathi novels along with various competitive exams books and popular biographies including those of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Babasaheb Ambedkar and so on.
The bookshelf has been placed along one of the walls in the playground where people can come and drop books they no longer need and pick up something from the collection on the shelf. The group also has a Facebook page.
Speaking about the unique concept, Abhishek Awchar, an author by profession and member of the ‘Open Library Movement’ said that they have introduced the concept of an open library in Pune not only to encourage reading habits amongst people but also to motivate them to share books.
He added that the group has been offered financial aid by many people but does not want to involve grants. They will accept books and bookshelves only and believe in the citizens to take the cause ahead.
The library works on the democratic principle -- for the people, by the people, and of the people -- and is maintained by the local residents. The group aims to put out almost 100 more libraries by the end of the year 2020. They have also shared their contact information for anyone who wants to be a part of their moment.