It’s early afternoon on Sunday and Yashoda has descended the stairs of her home in Mattancherry in Kochi for lunch. She needs to rush back upstairs – there is, on the upper floor, a library to run. At this point, her story has been expounded on. Youthful Yashoda D Shenoy – all of 12 – has been met and hailed for being maybe the most youthful librarian around, and running it free for all in Kochi.
“It is open every day, from 9 am to 7 pm. When I go to school, my mom or dad or brother is there,” Yashoda says. Almost a half year back, the library – Yashoda’s Library – was opened on the highest floor of her home, changing over the display of her craftsman father to a library-cum-exhibition. On one side, there is her dad Dinesh R Shenoy’s artworks, which have been kept aside to make space for the numerous racks of books, and seats and work areas to peruse them on.
Yashoda, who read books from the age of eight with the assistance of her senior sibling Achuth and mother Brahmaja, had no clue there was a cost one needs to pay to peruse. “I saw dad pay money when a library book was due. When I asked him about it, he said no book came free. I wondered then how people without money would read. What about those who didn’t even have ten rupees with them,” she asks, honestly.
It didn’t take any longer for the idea to transform vigorously. For the tyke, it was basic. In the event that there were no free books up until now, she would simply need to begin giving them. She disclosed to her father about it, he distributed a post on Facebook and books originated from numerous spots.
“We began with about 2000 books, now there are more than 3500. We have separated them into fiction – stories, novels and poems among them – and non-fiction. There are books in English, Malayalam, Konkani, Hindi and Sanskrit,” says the youthful custodian.
Her most loved is Basheer books, she says. However, the books in the library are for the two youngsters and adults. Her schoolmates and even her instructors at school have taken enrollment at the free library. Yashoda says, “There is no fine but a book is to be taken out for 15 days and then brought back. For the unwell and the aged who cannot come to the library, we deliver the books they want at home if we have it in the library.”
It is her fantasy to possess an enormous library, she says. “If you are a librarian, you’d need to retire one day. But if you own your library, you don’t need to go anywhere,” she says, with a long haul premonition.