Hyderabad’s City Grandhayala Samastha Library lies in neglect

Hyderabad: City Grandhayala Samastha Library, one of our oldest libraries, awaits attention of the authorities concerned and efforts of the local public representatives to help restore its past glory. Situated at Shalibanda, it is poorly maintained and barely run the way it should have been.

The library, established in 1953, was inaugurated by the then Home Minister Digamber Rao Bindu, and is well known among the student community as many spend long hours preparing for the exams and for jobs there. The City Grandhayala Samastha Library has a vast collection of books in English, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi and Kannada.

“There are around 70,000 books in six languages in the library. The collection includes story books, novels and study books like law books, medical books, history books, dictionaries, sought for preparing for competitive and job exams by job aspirants,” explained B Venkataiah, the librarian.

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Between January and May, thousands of students visit the library for sit in the peaceful ambience and prepare for the exams. A few carry their own study material while others prefer to browse through scores of books made available to the students.

Deepika, a student who is preparing for her CA exams, said that the place is peaceful so she prefers to come and study here. “I have been coming here for the last two years, it is one of the best available peaceful places in the older parts of the city which students can come and make use of,” she added.

K Santosh Kumar, who now works with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), said that hundreds of locals had prepared for the recruitment exams at the library and successfully bag jobs in both Central and State governments. “At one point of time, there was no place. After the library closed for the day, the job aspirants used to sit outside on the road and continue their preparations,” he recalled.

Around 5,000 people are members of the library and almost 200 visit every day to read newspapers alone.

However, lack of attention of the authorities to improve the facilities is causing heartburn among the local people. Basic facilities of a proper washroom, drinking water and comfortable accommodation are missing. Moreover, as against the sanctioned strength of 14 persons, only two people are working there in two shifts.

The library is open to the public between 8 a.m and 8 p.m. Due to staff crunch, the newspaper section, computer section and children’s book section are not being opened regularly, point out the local people.

The internal wiring needs immediately attended for there is always risk of short circuit. “Imagine if a fire mishap occurs it will reduce the building to ashes as a lot of combustible material is stored,” pointed out a local visitor.

Local people want the authorities to take measures to refurbish the facility and provide adequate staff and funds for maintenance.

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