KOCHI: The deluge consumed everything in its wake. It didn’t discriminate one from the other. Even as everyone zeroed in on the effect it had on the houses and other buildings, nobody has till date given a thought to the havoc the flood water wreaked on the libraries. These places of knowledge that usually operate from small buildings have always been neglected and depended on the mercy of the administration for their upkeep. Libraries in Aluva and Paravur are the ones which are the most affected.
“The flood has taken away whatever we had managed to construct over a period of time,” said V K Shaji, secretary, Aluva Taluk Library Council. According to him, the flood completely submerged two and partially submerged 13 libraries in the taluk. “We have lost around 6,000 books and several buildings. But who is to hear our plight. The houses and other establishments have to take precedence. However, we didn’t expect to be completely forgotten. People are no longer bothered or interested in the fate of the libraries,” he said.
A lot of valuable collection of books including the Vedas have been lost, he said.
“Not just books, we lost computers, mike sets, TV, records and registers. The destruction was complete. Nature didn’t hold back, it unleashed its ire in its totality,” he added. The taluk council is taking stock of the loss. “But nobody will come seeking our list,” he said.
According to Rajesh, of the District Library Council, the libraries in Kanyannur taluk fared better than those in Aluva and Paravur.
“The library in Kothad lost over 100 books. All the valuable and costly books were on the first floor.
However, one of the libraries in the district lost books after rainwater entered the building. Over 200 books were lost,” he said.
Kochi taluk suffered a loss of Rs 45,000. “The libraries in Vypeen, Fort Kochi, Palluruthy, Chellanam and Kumbalam were the ones that were affected. But the loss doesn’t stand anywhere near the one suffered by the libraries in Aluva and Paravur,” said Krishnakumar, who is a member of Kochi taluk library council.
DC Books to give books worth Rs 10,000
In what can be termed as good news for the libraries that have lost their treasure, DC Books has come up with an initiative to give books worth Rs10,000. “The libraries need to bring a certificate attested by the village officer or the taluk library council. They can even bring a photograph of their library. The certificates have to be submitted to DC by September 15. We will then process the requests and complete sending the books to the respective libraries by October 15,” said DC Books MD Ravi Deecee.