It is a boat with a difference and the journey is different from the usual. The S52 of Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) which transports people between Muhamma in Alappuzha district and Kumarakom in Kottayam district has a library full of interesting and engaging books which are provided for passengers to read during their travel.
S52 has the unique feature of being the first boat in Kerala to have a library.
Interestingly, the library was established by the National Service Scheme unit of Aryakkara Bhagavathi Vilasom Higher Secondary School located in Muhamma.
The floating library, as it is called, contains over 300 books in Malayalam and English. Some of the renowned writers whose books are included include Vaikkom Mohammed Bashir, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, MT Vasudevan Nair, Paulo Coelho and other acclaimed authors from Kerala and around the world.
It was the school that approached KSWTD with the idea of providing books to passengers and this was readily accepted by the transport company.
Sharing details, Shaji V. Nair, Director of KSWTD, told India Narrative, “Most of the daily passengers are office workers and students and they find the journey boring and dreary. They spend their time looking at their mobiles while others continue to watch the waters. So when this idea came up, we embraced it to help passengers catch up on reading and use their time productively. »
Speaking to the media, AV Vinod, the school’s NSS coordinator, said, “Muhamma-Kumarakom is one of the busiest sea routes in the state. We had discussed the idea of creating a library with a few commuters and they warmly welcomed it. »
He added that the aim was to inculcate the habit of reading in people. “Currently, the passengers of the boat pass the time by looking at their smartphones. Library books will popularize reading among them.
A one-way trip takes 40 minutes, and a passenger can finish a book in a week or two. Upon arriving at their destination, passengers must return the books.
All of the books on the ship were donated by students, parents and teachers of the school as well as local residents. Impressed by the idea, many also donated new books.
A number of commuters have described the move as “revolutionary” and want it to be introduced in other boats. Nair also informed India Narrative that soon another boat – S55 – sailing the same route will also have a library.