Pustaka Parishe, free books for all

Kadlekai parishe sells varieties of groundnuts. At the book parishe though, a wide variety of books were give away for free. The books are donated by book lovers who want to spread the joy of reading, especially Kannada literature.

Hundreds of bibliophlies, of all ages, flocked the fourth edition of the ‘Pustaka Parishe’ at the Volley Ball Ground, on Sunday, 30 October at Netkallappa Circle in Basavangudi. Dr Anasuya Rajeev, in her forties, an astrologer and a resident of NR Colony, was at the parishe for the second time, looking for books on astrology and spirituality.

Thousands attended the day long parishe in Basavangudi. Pic: Yogaraj S Mudalgi

"They have a lot of books here and it is good for someone to find a book in the subject they are interested in." Thriteen year-old Manoj, a resident of Thyagarajanagar, had come there for the first time with his mother to see if he can find any comics. "I like reading Kannada comics, especially mythology. I found one about Nachiketa which I will be taking," he says.

The one-day event, held twice a year and organised by Srushti Ventures, a resource center, is one-of-a-kind as it is not a sale exhibition. Visitors can browse through the books and pick one book, to take home for free. This time, close to one lakh books were on display.

Nagaraj Navalgund of Srushti Ventures says that the resource centre which is located above Puliyogare Point in Basavangudi lets out its space for people with innovative ideas and want to conduct activities in fields like theatre, education, science and so on. "Through the activities conducted there, we felt that there was a need to inculcate reading, especially of Kannada literature, in youngsters and so we organised this parishe," he says.

Manoj picked up book on Nachiketha and Raghavendra Mahatme. Pic: Yogaraj S Mudalgi

The parishe has grown exponentially, since it was held for the first time, two years ago. "From 4,000 books, the first time, we now have 1 lakh books. Over 40,000 have been given out," says Navalgund. The books for the event have been collected through donations by people across the city over a period of three months.

"Noted writes like Nisar Ahmed and G Venkata Subbaiah too donated books from their collection," he says. Since the books are free, Navalgund says, each person is allowed to take only one book. "Most people take more than one. But it is knowledge, so we don’t stop them," says Navalgund with a smile.

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