MYSURU: With the government failing to fulfill its promise of rebuilding his library that was gutted last year, 62-year-old daily wage labourer Syed Issaq has erected a shed-like structure on his own at the same place to house books that have been donated by hundreds of people.
As he himself was deprived of education, Issaq did not want others to suffer the same fate and had started the library over a decade ago. He had built the library in a 20x20 sqft space at the corner of a park near his house, spending money from his pocket. He had painstakingly collected over 11,000 books, including 3,000-plus Kannada novels and Bhagavad Gitas. His dream project was reduced to ashes on April 9 when a man walking by had carelessly tossed a cigarette butt.
After TNIE published a report about the fire, techie Fathaheen Misbah set up an online fundraiser which garnered a huge response from across the globe and collected nearly Rs 29 lakh within three to four days.
But the state government refunded all the donors and announced that considering the good work done by Issaq, it would rebuild the library.
As months passed, there were no signs of any work being started by the Mysuru City Corporation, Mysuru Urban Development Authority, Public Libraries Department or the district administration, even as over 10,000 donated books were waiting to find a place.
Angry with the attitude of officials, Issaq decided to rebuild the library on his own from Rs 4 lakh donated by MLA Zameer Ahmed, Mysuru district in-charge minister ST Somashekhar, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha and a few others. He rebuilt the shed-like structure for his library in 45 days flat.
Students pledge to make use of library
Marking the Republic Day on Wednesday, Syed Issaq invited students from a nearby government school for a lowkey inauguration of the library , where the students took a pledge to visit the library often to refer books.
Several like-minded people, including Pratap Simha, Suttur Mutt seer Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji and others, took part. After the event, Issaq said the authorities did not take up the work, and he did not want to keep people waiting. “I am happy now that I could rebuild it. I hope that this serves the purpose and no one is deprived of education and learning,” he said.