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Karnataka’s daily wage worker rebuilds a burnt public library on his own

The public library which was rebuilt by Syed Issaq, a daily wage labourer was inaugurated on Republic Day (Pic. Courtesy newindianexpress.com)

Despite having suffered a major setback when his dream project – a library for students – was gutted in a fire, Syed Issaq, a daily wage labourer did not lose hope. Contrary to all expectations, this 62-year-old man from Mysuru, Karnataka used his meagre savings and donations to erect a structure in the same place which now houses books donated by several people.

Having suffered because of lack of education, Issaq was keen that others should not ever suffer the same fate and therefore started a library more than 10 years ago. This haven for book lovers and students was built in a small place of 20 by 20 square feet in a corner of a park, located near his residence. Spending his money, he slowly collected more than 11,000 books. These included hundreds of novels in Kannada and Bhagavad Gitas.

All these went up in flames in April last year, due to the negligence of a smoker who carelessly tossed a cigarette butt and reduced the place to ashes.

The news of the fire led people to gather funds for its rebuilding but the authorities decided to do the job without taking help from others. As time passed nothing was done by the administration while more than 10,000 books that had been donated by people were lying without being used.

Put off by the attitude of the officials, Issaq decided to do the job on his own and used his money and what he received as donation to make a structure in 45 days.

On Republic Day, the makeshift library was inaugurated with students of Government school located close by in attendance who pledged to use the library for reading and reference.

Talking to New India Express, Issaq said he did not want students to suffer and decided to rebuild on his own. “I am happy now that I could rebuild it. I hope that this serves the purpose and no one is deprived of education and learning.”