A deep love for books and reading has prompted a 12-year-old girl from Kochi to set up a library in this Kerala city and lay claim possibly to the title of the 'youngest librarian' in the country.
Yashoda D Shenoy runs "Yashoda's Library" with a collection of 3,500 books in total and 110 members.
"My library contains over 2,500 books in Malayalam language and about 1,000 in English. This library is free for everyone, with no membership charges and no fine charges in case of delay in returning books," says Ms Shenoy.
The girl says her family supports her decision to run a library of her own. "My father started posting on Facebook and the responses were overwhelming. People donated books for my library," Ms Shenoy told news agency ANI.
She further added, "Since then, I have been receiving donations by the general public and that is how I have been maintaining a good collection of books in this library."
Ms Shenoy says she developed reading as a habit when she was in Class 3.
At one instance, she had failed to return a book she had borrowed from a library and was fined for the delay. She said the incident left her worried about how children belonging to low-income groups could read or become members of a library.
It was then that she pondered upon the idea of a library which would not charge membership fees nor impose fines for returning books after the due date.
Ms Shenoy aspires to become an advocate one day.
"Yashoda loves to read books, and she believes that reading should be free for everyone. Her brother is also a member of her library. I am very proud of my daughter," Ms Shenoy's father Dinesh R Shenoy told ANI.
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