Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to inculcate reading habits among students, youngsters and encourage community engagement, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) opened a public library at the Forest Park in the Capital City on Sunday.

On the occasion of World Poetry Day, the first-of-its-kind initiative in Odisha was  inaugurated by R Balakrishnan, chief adviser to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in presence of BDA vice-chairman Prem Chandra Chaudhary.

Speaking on the occasion, Balakrishnan said, “It is a great step by the BDA to step up and promote park library culture at a time when reading habit is declining among youngsters. This library will definitely attract children, students, book lovers and people visiting the park to spend some time in reading amid a cool and peaceful environment."

The Forest Park library is a collaboration between BDA and city-based BAKUL foundation. The BDA has provided the space and the physical infrastructure required for setting up the library. Bakul then developed it into a creative library space with racks and books and attractive murals.

“The main purpose behind setting up a park library is to give an opportunity to book lovers, and especially underprivileged children in reading different kinds of books, which are quite expensive to buy from the market.," said Chaudhary.

He further said that the BDA is planning to set up more such libraries in other big size parks in the city to promote park library culture.

According to sources, since the library is located within the park, it will open and close according to the park’s timings -- from 7 am to 10 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm. The library will be opened throughout the week except Monday.

The book sections include a collection of Odia and English books and have shelves with books for children too. It has the collection of English bestsellers and classics and a host of textbooks for the students.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)