Haripad: As the nation celebrates Reading Day on June 19, it needs to thank numerous unassuming persons for keeping the habit alive and P Sukumaran is among them.
Over the last 41 years, Sukumaran, who is now 61, has been carrying books to readers in their homes on foot.
Presently the librarian at Kumarapuram Public Library at Karuvatta South in Kerala’s Alappuzha district, Sukumaran started taking books to houses in the 1980s when the then library committee entrusted this task to him noting that there was a decline in the number of people visiting the library.
Sukumaran’s efforts had good effect. As books became available at home, the membership of the library grew steadily.
As Sukumaran knows the taste of all readers, he carries suitable books for them. He also seeks the readers’ opinion on the books when collecting them back.
Sukumaran’s working day starts when he reaches the library at 7.30 am from Monday to Saturday. By 10.30 am, he would be ready for the walk with books. Later, by around 4 pm, he will be back at the library. Sukumaran’s also carries his lunch, which he has at some house he visits.
When the initiative was launched, Sukumaran used to carry books to 30 houses. At present, he visits 129 houses and walks up to 12 km a day.
Sukumaran’s dedication has earned him recognition too. He won the first I V Das memorial award instituted by the Kerala State Library Council Staff Association in 2016.