Kolkata delights its children with a Library on Wheels
Khushi Singh 17th November 2020
Inauguration Of Tram Library. (Source: Indian Express)
The culturally rich city of Kolkata commemorates Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday by gifting its children the very first of its kind—a tram library on November 14th, 2020 giving access to children across all age groups to pick and read their favourite book while on the move.
The tram would operate on Shyambazar-Esplanade and Esplanade-Gariahat routes—spanning across north and south Kolkata, every day from morning to evening. According to The Hindustan Times, the 'Kolkata Young Reader's Tramcar' has been developed in collaboration with the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) and Apeejay Anand Children's Library. "The idea behind the Kolkata Young Readers' Tramcar is that all children should get access to read good books, and what better than the Kolkata trams," says WBTC managing director Rajanvir Singh Kapur who virtually launched the car, as reported by India Today.
Maina Bhagat, the director of Oxford bookstores, told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the store has assembled a unique selection of titles and literature catering to various reading age groups for the tramcar library. She also talked about the yearlong activities for children onboard the tramcar, such as storytelling dramatised readings, poetry sessions, book launches, music, and various such activities, to captivate the young minds.
The exquisite Library on Wheels, which is decorated by the hand-painted artworks of local artists, depicts a journey of trams from their introduction in 1873 to being electrified in 1900. The library is reportedly housing thousands of books inclusive of those required for competitive exams IAS, IPS, WBCS, GRE, GMAT, free wifi services, free pens and a magazine section as well.
Priti Paul, director of Apeejay Surrendra Group, according to India Today, remarked, "We believe that a library is essential to every child's holistic development, and knowledge and books are game-changers enhancing the future of each child. Reading and learning on the move will undoubtedly augment their recreational environment."
The tram fare for children is free of cost; however, the adults accompanying would need to pay a nominal fee.
The Kolkata Tramways have been operating since the last 147 years when the maiden tram took off horses. It was in 1880, the Calcutta Tramway Company was formed in London called the WBTC that runs the only existing tramways in India.
(Sources: The Logical Indian, India News. Mumbai Mirror)
Edited by: Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh