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India: Books for all to share in Delhi metro - a citizens’ initiative

Wednesday 21 June 2017, by siawi3


This couple is hiding books in Delhi metro stations for people to read and pass them on

in Delhi 22 hours ago

The books are from the couple, Shruti Sharma and Tarun Chauhan’s personal collection, and even if they have already lost two, Sharma is determined to continue doing it, all to infuse some good old reading habit among the commuters.

If you stay in Delhi there is no way you can avoid the metro. Often referred to as the city’s lifeline, metro connects the length and the breadth of the city. If you have been on the metro then you might have also seen that, almost without an exception the commuters are glued to their smart phones. All heads are dropped as their gaze is fixed on their phone. The scenario is sad but true. But while we lament over it, there is a couple who is attempting to change it. Delhi-based couple Shruti Sharma and Tarun Chauhan have started an initiative known as the Books on the Delhi Metro.

Much like its name, this non-profit making venture attempts to bring back the good old habit of reading among people. In order to do that, both Sharma and Chauhan, a content developer and a civil engineer respectively, leave books on the metro for travellers to pick up and read. With a tagline, “Take it, Read it. Return it to someone else to enjoy it,” their initiative is akin to a mobile library.

Speaking to Sharma said that the idea to do this came to her when she read Emma Watson doing something similar. Last year the UN Goodwill ambassador had collaborated with Books on the Undergound, and hidden copies of her most cherished book across various stations of the London Underground. The Harry Potter star had left around 100 copies of Maya Angelou’s ‘Mom & Me & Mom’. Taking cue from that, Sharma contacted Books On the Move Global, and got permission to do the same in Delhi.

Sharma and Chauhan started their initiative in May and so far have dropped three books. However it is only recently that one of them got picked, which inadvertently means that the first two books are lost. The process is simple. “You pick up the book, and then post it on social media tagging Books on the Delhi Metro. I get a notification and repost it,” Sharma says. You can identify these books from the sticker on the covers as Sharma tries to provide clues on Instagram.