Remember those long train rides when you quietly sat and stared out of the window? While travelling on a train is always fun, there’s a limit to watching the same scenery pass by. For some of us, the journey gets downright boring after a while, and we sorely miss having a book around.
Well, there’s good news for book lovers in Maharashtra. The State Government and the Indian Railways have joined hands, and the resultant venture called the ‘Library on Wheels,’ has been implemented on the Deccan Queen and Panchavati Express trains.
Passengers travelling in the monthly season ticket coaches of the trains—Deccan Queen travels from Mumbai to Pune and Panchavati travels from Mumbai to Manmad—will now be able to procure books, read and return them before alighting the trains. The best part is that this facility is free, reports the Times of India.
The service was inaugurated on October 15 by state Education minister Vinod Tawde. Incidentally, October 15 is celebrated as ‘Reading Day,’ to mark the birth anniversary of former president APJ Abdul Kalam.
The books are courtesy volunteers of the Marathi Vikas Sanstha of the Marathi Language Department of the State Government. The volunteers will give passengers books before the journey begins, and collect them when the journey ends.
Travellers are excited at the prospect of Marathi Literary works from the government library. Speaking to TOI, Sanjay Ketkar, a daily commuter from Nashik to Mumbai, said, “This is an excellent way to help over 100 daily passengers to use their time meaningfully.”
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Commuters will initially be offered books on Marathi literature, history, politics, mystery, biographies and even translated works. “It will be beneficial for people who love to read. We shall be introducing more books in English and Hindi as well,” said Vinod Tawde, state Education minister to DNA.
As per DK Sharma, the General Manager of Central Railway Zone, the facility will be expanded depending on the passenger demand.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)