December 4, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

India: Libraries dying but literature thrives

1 min read

Currently, in India, the only libraries that are super-active seem to be housed in jails. One may never think of them as temples of learning, but they sure seem to inspire academic pursuits. Consider Kerala’s Kannur central jail, where—in 2012—eight inmates earned graduate degrees and another eight got post-graduate degrees while serving term. In the same year, 16 jailbirds passed their Plus Two examination; 76 the SSLC equivalent, while 50 prisoners managed to get through class 7. Everyone found their personal tutor in the jail library which has some 10,000 books in English and various Indian languages. It’s not just a southern phenomenon. Seeing the success of the libraries in Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail and Lucknow Jail, a district jail coming up in Greater Noida is creating a modern library at a cost of `9 lakh, to be stocked with inspirational books by Indian writers.

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