Kannur panchayat transforms rage into reading revolution with 21 libraries

Each library includes ‘balavedis’ to encourage reading among children.
The ‘Deshabhimani’ library, one of the oldest library in Kalliasseri panchayat
The ‘Deshabhimani’ library, one of the oldest library in Kalliasseri panchayat Photo | Express

KANNUR: Kalliasseri took to the world of letters to douse its fury. A culture of reading in the village, in Kannur district, first took root in 1934 with the establishment of a reading room at Mangattu, in memory of a local man beaten to death by police. Over the next 90 years, it went on to set up reading rooms in all 18 wards and achieve the status of ‘Nadake Grandhalayam’.

The first library was founded by K P R Gopalan, K A Keraleeyan and K V Narayanan Nambiar in memory of Sreeharshan, a victim of police brutality. Panchayat authorities expanded the initiative to provide 21 libraries across the 18 wards.

The establishment of the libraries was overseen of cultural associations dedicated to providing modern reading facilities. In particular, two libraries have been set up in panchayat president T T Balakrishnan’s 8th ward, vice president C Nisha’s 13th ward, and the 9th ward.

The officials take great pride in fostering a knowledge-rich environment for the younger generation. “The panchayat has 15 libraries equipped with modern technology, all operating with public participation. Cultural associations were formed to support these libraries, arranging books and other resources through crowdfunding,” says Balakrishnan.

“All the libraries, including the six newly built ones, have more than a thousand books each. The older libraries are accredited by the state library council and also feature modern amenities such as computers, sound systems and photocopiers,” he added.

Kalliasseri’s libraries have become cultural hubs. “For us, libraries are not just about books and newspapers; they are part of our culture. Children come here to enrich their knowledge and develop social skills,” points out panchayat library committee president M Sreedharan.

Each library includes ‘balavedis’ to encourage reading among children.

“Library councils organise literary appreciation events and quiz competitions for children. Each library has an ‘ezhuthupetti’ where children can submit their literary compositions. The best works are honoured during the annual library festival,” Sreedharan added.

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The New Indian Express