Breathe free & browse through a book at garden libraries popping up in Mumbai | Mumbai News
With a view to countering zoom fatigue and encouraging people to spend more time outdoors, the municipal corporation has started free reading libraries in gardens across the city. Eight gardens which feature covered gazebos – from Colaba to Kandivli – already have these libraries, to which local residents have donated books. The plan is to eventually have at least one library garden per ward.
Th books will be kept in closed cupboards which will be managed by the BMC staff. “The horticulturist in charge will inspect the books to ensure that they are of general public interest,” says Jitendra Pardeshi, BMC Superintendent of gardens. The books will be stamped and placed in cupboards which will be locked when the garden is not in use. They will not be available to borrow.
Project Mumbai, a non-profit organization, recently took on the garden library project for 20 such gardens in Bandra, Andheri, Jogeshwari and Powai. “We are collecting books across languages and are also inviting people to donate cupboards in which the books can be stored, especially the old steel ones from offices which are going paperless,” says Shishir Joshi, CEO of Project Mumbai. “All our initiatives attempt to get citizens involved in doing something for their city. This is one of the many ways.” Citizens can volunteer to be part of the reading drive, and also help monitor and curate the books. “One doctor and two retired librarians have already offered their services,” says Joshi.
The BMC has some 1,100 gardens, ranging from the largest at Bhakti Park in Wadala to tiny green spots in each ward. Some of the library gardens will feature benches made from recycled plastic made by Project Mumbai from its monthly Plastic Recyclothon drive which collects vast amounts of plastic waste from citizens across the city.