When Pune-resident Pradeep Rawat’s term as a Member of Parliament ended, the 60-year-old decided to build a library to house the numerous books he has collected over decades, and to help people gain access to scientific literature. Named Rawat’s Nature Library, it has more than 5,000 books on science and evolutionary biology and is open to all for free.
Books in this library are filed under various categories like Brain and Behaviours, Plants and Animals, Environmental Science, Classical Science, and Science in Marathi. The works and biographies of eminent Indian scientists also find a place in this well-curated collection.
Image for representation purposes only. Source:By Dr.Deanndamon [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
According to reports, the Rawat’s Nature Library is highly popular among students preparing for Civil Services exams. More than 30,000 such students have been to the library over the past three years. It might soon open its doors to scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) for academic discussions and debates as well.
“There is a vast collection on all aspects of science and not many are found at even our institute or Pune University. What is important is that despite not being a science stream graduate, he has read these scholarly books that are usually read by researchers,” Dr. L S Shashidhara, the head of Biology at IISER, told the Indian Express while talking about the library.
Pradeep, whose father passed away when he was only 13, was always interested in studying science. He took admission in Abashabeb Garware College to study the same, but ended up being put behind bars during the JP movement and could not finish the course. This never stopped the autodidact from reading more. He often returns with eight to ten bags filled with books whenever he travels to the United States or Europe.
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