KOCHI: The lockdown has upset bookworms who have the habit of going to libraries to pick up books. However, the cyclers in Thiruvananthapuram are coming together to aid these bibliophiles–by dropping their favourite books home.The initiative, named ‘Books by Bicycle’, started by cycling enthusiasts in the city is being led by Prakash P Gopinath, bicycle mayor of Thiruvananthapuram. Writer Johny M L has also provided necessary guidance for the initiative.
“When the Women’s College hostel, Vazhuthacaud was turned into an isolation ward for Covid-19 treatment, few of our volunteers started delivering medicines and other necessary materials for the inmates. During this time, Johny had posted on Facebook asking for a Deshabhimani magazine, which one of our volunteers delivered to him. This is when we realised that many ardent readers are unable to go buy or rent their favourite books due to the lockdown,” says Prakash.
The initiative was launched by handing over a book to city Mayor K Sreekumar. About 11 volunteers from the Indus Cycling Embassy are working to deliver books on bicycles. Both English and Malayalam books, including children’s literature are being dropped off, with many attractive discounts. “Apart from books, a homemade facemask and a brochure with guidelines on how to make a face mask at home is also being provided to create more awareness,” shares Prakash.
Books from all the leading publishing houses such as DC, Mathrubhumi, Chintha, Poorna, Cost Ford, Maithri and Modern are available through the ‘Books by bicycle’ initiative. Around 21 books have already been delivered to people in various locations across the city. Through the Facebook page and group named ‘Books by bicycle’, the volunteers are providing necessary information on the availability of books. Books can also be ordered through WhatsApp by contacting 7356694005.
Copies available within corporation limits are delivered with a 10 per cent discount. The payments can be made either through GooglePay, Paytm or by cash.”Few parents have suggested we also include some activity books for children in our catalogue,” added Prakash. Since Tuesday and Friday have been allotted for opening book stalls, the books will be delivered on Wednesdays and Saturdays.