Ever heard of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library? It’s a marvelous sight to behold.
Located in Delhi, India is the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library. It’s a “community library containing about 15,000 books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and even Hindi” that serves as a light guiding those in need. Tucked away in old Delhi, the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library might physically be a tiny space, but its impact is huge.
In addition to housing a 700-year-old commentary on logic in Arabic, the Library also has old manuscript in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, and English. A wealth of information, the BBC notes that the Library “plays host to poetry readings and lively discussions on art, culture and politics”.
It’s a place where men and women are equal, where there are no rules regarding noise level. In fact, conversation is encourages. It’s place to discuss ideas.
Considering the surrounding area has “a pervading sense of stagnancy” that’s led by the “apathetic attitude of the administration,” the Shah Waliullah Library serves as a light guiding those in need towards it.
With regards to its history, Mohammed Naeem, President of the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA) recalls how he and others “[wanted] to change the fate of our locality. We thought there was no better way to do this than by opening a library.”
They did so in 1990, registering as the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA). Immediately they go to work, started with newspapers and magazines from their homes before adding books from Sunday book markets.
From there, everything just grew and grew. In regards to the name, Hindustan Times writes that “Abdul Hadi, a local resident who was then a clerk with Jamia Millia Islamia University, suggested they name the library after the revered Islamic scholar Shah Waliullah”.
From there, The Shah Waliullah got many donations, many books coming “in backpacks, on bicycle carriers, in cycle rickshaws, tied up in cloth; new, jumbled, torn”.
And that’s how the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library came to be. Home to about 20,000 books, the store no,w according to Mohammed Naeem, “[provides] extra classes for children around here, supply books, give free counselling and even apply to colleges and often pay their fees”.
Featured Image Via Indian Times