Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The farmer who provides food for the mind
Thru India News Online

"In an age when libraries have all but disappeared from even the biggest Indian cities giving way to corner shops lending out the latest film instead, a farmer here works hard to keep the reading habit alive and kicking.

"And Vishwa Pratap Singh of Chaukheri village does it all with his own funds.

"From a few books in 1955, the library started by Singh's grandfather has grown to 5,000 volumes, including rare manuscripts dating back 300 years.

"Think of any remarkable work in Hindi and chances are that you will find it in Singh's library. So whether the reader is looking for novels by doyens of Hindi literature like Bharatendu Harishchandra, Munshi Premchand or Mahadevi Verma or works from contemporary writers like Nirmal Verma and Dharamvir Bharti, it's all here in Singh's treasure trove."