Mysore/Mysuru: Here is a classic example of how the authorities have shown apathy in maintaining an ‘existing’ monumental 36-year-old Reading Room situated near the junction of Pulikeshi Road – Ashoka Road. The broken/cracked grey marble plaque still exists and it says: Reading Room was inaugurated on 2.9.1985 by the then Mayor Satyanarayana and in the presence of Deputy Mayor K. Gopalaswamy, luminaries, and dignitaries of Mysore City.
But, it has been locked up ever since and is at present a garbage dump and its surrounding, a toilet for people; its roof is collapsed, windows/door are missing and is in a pathetic condition. It is located near some of the oldest slum areas of Mysuru — Lashkar Mohalla, Kailasapuram, Manjunathapura, Veeranagere, Gumchi.
The Reading Room could have certainly inculcated a habit of reading/improving literacy among slum dwellers, had it been maintained properly by ensuring regular supply of daily newspapers of different languages for catering to the different class/vernacular readers and comic books etc., for attracting children. I appeal to MCC Commissioner, Ministers, Corporators, Library Department officials to visit this slum area Reading Room in Lashkar Mohalla and take action for improving the dilapidated building at the earliest.
There are many public libraries in extensions and an inspection may be conducted to find out whether they are worthy of visit by people.
It will not be out of place if attention is drawn to earlier news items that appeared in Star of Mysore — “Libraries in all 65 wards of the city soon: Mayor” (SOM dated Feb. 14, 2020) and “Libraries in the State to have buildings of their own” (SOM dated Nov. 15, 2010) in which Minister for Libraries ‘disclosed’ that there are 7,000 libraries in the State and his intention is to provide own buildings to those that are functioning in rented buildings.
—Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, Social Activist