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Every friday a middle aged couple visits my home. This couple brings colourful stories for my son. I happened to meet them at my son's school. On one of the parents teachers meeting day, this couple had arranged a book stall for children. When I approached them for buying a book or two for my child, this man politely told me that the books are not for sale. I looked at him in a questioning way. In reply, he handed me over his card. This couple ran a door to door library. I have always loved libraries. The school and college libraries, with their peaceful and silent ambience always drew me. I wanted to introduce my son to the wonderland of books and what could be more interesting and recycling way than joining the library. For the past two years I have been a regular member of this couples library. My son was just three and a half year old then. Now at the age of five,he has become an avid reader. I am so thankful for meeting these people. Come rain or sunshine, they show up every week with bundle of story books, with morals and life teachings. At times, they suggest some good books according to the age of the reader. Their humility and devotion towards their good work always makes me appreciate their efforts. In these times of digitalization of books, their small business is keeping the art of book reading alive in children. It also encourages the kids to keep and maintain the books properly as they have to return the books on time in proper condition. This habit gives them a sense of responsibility towards their belongings and of others too. The other day I simply asked this humble man that how does he finds the profit in this business. His reply was, "bhabhiji, profit toh thik hai, but satisfaction bahot jyada hai ki kuch toh accha de pa rahe hain baccho ko". (that profit is ok, but satisfaction is more that he could provide something good for today's kids). He told me that in past few years he has managed to add some hundred - fifty to two hundred members. They put up stalls at various schools for their promotion. But most of the school authorities feel that they are doing this for encouraging business and don't understand the real message behind their work. But he mentioned few schools which really support their good work and encourage them. He told me that his wife has a degree in MBA finance, but they both are looking after this venture and feel very satisfied. The environment of books has encouraged his son in studies and taking part and shining and winning medals at various Olympiads. The contentment of doing good work makes him feel happier.
It was few months back that I spotted an old library, of the decade of seventies at a popular square of Nagpur. The board with the name of library hung on the gallery of an old building. I was fascinated to see that such old libraries are still running. With all enthusiasm, I went to visit it. But to my disappointment, the people there told me that it had been closed for many years. Now they run a video gaming and carrom parlour there. As a book lover, I was heartbroken. My thoughts ran towards this soft spoken couples work and I felt a sense of gratitude towards them. In their own small business and honest efforts, they are contributing a lot in cherishing the habit of reading for future generation. I feel we need to patronize more and more such business which has a morale and contribution towards the society. BY-