Meet Syed Isaq, a drainage pipe cleaner in Mysuru. He leads a hand-to-mouth existence with him charging no more than Rs. 300-400 for his services. He is illiterate and he lives in a hut. He also happens to be running the only library for 10,000 houses in the impoverished area.
Syed says that he started running his library out of his hut in order to promote the importance of education and eradicate illiteracy. It’s an incredibly noble feat given that the 61-year-old cannot read himself.
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Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, he said, “I am unfortunately an uneducated man as my family could not afford it when I could have studied. But I strongly believe that education is a strong weapon to transform society. I have been running this library since five years. I have only three books because that is all the money I had. One of them is that of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.”
Apart from the few books, Syed stocks 17 newspapers in his hut daily and makes sure his library is open every day from 6am to 7pm. His library walls are also covered with pictures of Indian freedom fighters. While the maintenance and the running of the library costs him Rs 5,000 per month, he keeps this service completely free of charge. But he does urge people around him to donate as many book as they can.
While this initiative is yielding him no profits (in fact he sometimes works as a construction worker when he can’t find a gig as a drainage pipe cleaner), his only dream to ensure that he is able to build the library of his dreams decked with books and servicing his community.
And it’s a dream worth celebrating.