Model Citizen: A dream to nurture reading habit among next generation

Gopi Sampath has always believed that reading is a habit that must be inculcated in every child. Not only does the 59-year-old believe in this, but he also ensures that he practises it as well.
Model Citizen: A dream to nurture reading habit among next generation
library on wheels.(Inset: Gopi Sampath)

Chennai

Having done his bachelors in Book Industry under the Madras University, his passion for books continued. With an exposure to books, he ensured that he passed it on to his son as well. “I never gifted my son toys. Every occasion, I would present him with books and also encouraged my friends to do the same with their children,” he said. 
However, when his son crossed the age for children’s books, Gopi had to look for a way to give away the books. “I was wondering what to do and realised that I could help many others who have interest in reading.
With so many books at home, he considered starting a library near his residence in KK Nagar. “Many children expressed interest in borrowing books from the library. However, I noticed that the parents would get bored and want to leave immediately. It was then I started keeping books for adults as well. Today, the library has more than 35,000 books for every one above the age of 16,” he noted.
While many developed an interest in reading books, he said that people who move out of KK Nagar found it difficult to access good libraries and books in their areas. “It was then that I developed the idea of a Library on Wheels. This mobile library does not stand in a common place where people gather, but it goes to the doors of each member. We pre-fix the schedules and inform them so that they can come and borrow books,” he stated.
With a route map, Gopi travels across the city with an aim to ensure that his members get to read the books of their choice. “The library goes to each member once a month and he/she can borrow 10 books at a time,” said the book lover.
With a dream of seeing a new generation of book lovers, he said, “I do not believe in reading books online even though technology is far advanced. It is my strong belief that there is nothing like having a hard copy in your hand.”

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