Alipurduar (West Bengal): A gigantic century-old Siris tree has been serving as an outdoor library for over seven months at European Club Ground in Kalchini Block of West Bengal's Alipurduar district where children and adults gather every Sunday. A 25-year-old samaritan named Nimesh Lama from Kalchini took this novel initiative to develop young minds.
The tree-library was started with only 25 books, but now comprises more than 400 books of fiction, nonfiction, comics and other genres of literature in English, Bengal, Hindu and Nepali. The library opens every Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm where locals gather and perform plays, recite poetry and sing songs. Debates are also conducted and these events are called 'Sunday Art-Haat'.
"Earlier, when I used to come to this European field or pass by the field, I would see people engaged in gambling under the tree. Thinking about how to get rid of that, I thought if they could come together for wine and food, then why can't we come together for a good cause? So I gathered my friends and took this initiative," Nimesh told ETV Bharat.
"To bring some societal change, I decided to name this library Swaraj. On Sundays, we run an event called 'Sunday Art-Haat' where children unleash their talent. Now nobody comes here for gambling," Nimesh added. Nimesh graduated from Jaigaon College in 2021 and is currently preparing for West Bengal Civil Service (WBCS) exam. His mother, Renuka Lama, works in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).