This Karnataka scrap dealer may be illiterate, but has 2k book library at home

One need not be a scholar to understand the value of knowledge.

Published: 22nd September 2022 06:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2022 05:46 PM   |  A+A-

Ismail Kanathur in his library at his house, at Navagrama in Balepuni village.

Ismail Kanathur in his library at his house, at Navagrama in Balepuni village.

Express News Service

MANGALURU: One need not be a scholar to understand the value of knowledge. An illiterate scrap dealer in Hoohakuvakallu village, about 28 km from Mangaluru city, has proved it. Ismail Kanathur, 50, has built a small library at his house at Navagrama in Balepuni village. He seldom treated as scrap the books he got along with piles of discarded items in the last 15 years. Everyday, he isolates books which he thinks are invaluable from heaps of paper waste in his crammed shop.

Many books preserved by him have found their way to libraries of educational institutions while some teachers, students and other individuals have also taken them from him. “I don’t charge even a penny for it. I had no luxury of education. At least others should be benefit from it,” says Ismail, who is popularly known as ‘Gandhi’ for his services in education.

Borrowing books and getting them for free was happening since many years. A few weeks ago, a learned person gave him the idea of setting up his own library.

“This gentlemen who laid his hands on one particular book in my shop said that it costs Rs 2,000 in the market. I told him that I do not sell books and asked him to take it if it is useful for him. He refused to take it for free and forcibly thrust some currency notes in my pocket,” said Ismail.

While leaving the shop, he suggested Ismail to set up a library at his house as his shop does not have adequate space for books. The scrap dealer did not think twice and with the help of Janashikshana Trust moved the books to his house in Balepuni village.

The books are arranged on a wooden shelf and villagers can borrow them. He has also arranged some chairs under the shade of a scrapped dish umbrella to read books. Ismail says his library has at least 2,000 books. Krishna Muliya, member, Janashikshana Trust, described Ismail as a role model who always reaches out to people in distress. “He has saved many lives by shifting accident victims to hospital, helped poor girls get married through crowd-funding among other activities.”


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