Published: 26th October 2020
This retired Railways employee has built a free library for kids in rural Karnataka. This is his story
Ningappa Patil worked as a Head Sorting Assistant at the Railway Mail Services until 2018. Soon after his retirement, he has ensured to fulfill his dream of building a library for rural children
It was my dream to build a library so that children from the villages surrounding Raybagh in Belagavi district come and study, says Ningappa Patil who has built a library and developed a bank of books in his farm in Hubbarwadi village. Coming from a rural background, Ningappa understands the difficulty that these youngsters have to face travelling to cities in search of competitive books, novels and poetry to read. Hence, he invested Rs 4 lakh to build a huge library and set up the furniture and more than Rs 30,000 to buy books.
If you're wondering if Ningappa runs an NGO, you'd be mistaken. Until 2018, Ningappa worked at the Railway Mail Services as Head Sorting Assistant. Having retired two years ago, he has involved himself in crop cultivation in his agricultural land. Ningappa explains, "My land consists of huge trees where we grow chickoo, mango and other fruits. At the same time, there is a huge library room which is open all the time. Anyone can come and study here anytime and readers can also take the books home if they are interested in reading more. It has been two months since the library has been built. Hence, a lot of people don't know about this initiative. A few students who have heard about it through word-of-mouth have been coming at least thrice a week to read."
Ningappa has taken to Facebook to create awareness among locals about the reading habit as well as the existence of this library. "Once the footfalls increase, I plan to introduce a register where people can enter the date of taking books from the library and submitting them back. People from surrounding villages including Bhavchi, Mekali, Budhihal, Devanakatti, Madalagi and Mavinahonda. For now, I have spent Rs 30,000 on the books and If someone comes forward to donate books for the library, then I am open to it," says Ningappa, who has kept aside Rs 15,000 for many social initiatives from the total pension that he has been receiving after his retirement. He has also requested people through social media to donate books or any materials that could be of great use for the library he has built.