George Fernandes donates 4,000 books to St Aloysius College

The library at St Aloysius College, Mangalore, has a reason to boast now. With the college being gifted with approximately 4,000 books which were part of the personal library of former defence minister George Fernandes, the college library has literally become rich.

It was just a fortnight ago, that the family of George Fernandes donated books of his personal collection to the college library. The generosity shown by Fernandes to donate the books to his alma-mater has come as a blessing in disguise to the college. The books are neatly placed in the reference section of the library and is open for reference to students as well as the general public. They are divided under various sub-heads including books on India, defence, religion, sociology, political science, economics, language and literature, biography, history and geography, Gandhian studies and thought, parliament proceedings and miscellaneous. The highest number of books are in language and literature section with the number reaching 751.

The language and literature section again has books in various languages like English, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani and Tulu, reflecting the love of the two time defence minister from Mangalore, towards local languages too. However, the most significant among all the sections, is the books on parliamentary proceedings. There are 247 books on Indian parliamentary proceedings beginning from the books published in 1932, which will help the students and researchers in political science to a great deal. There are also some rare books on Indian martyrs and the book on Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, St Aloysius College Chief Librarian George Rodrigues told Deccan Herald.

The credit goes to three people for playing a major role in deciding to donate the books to Aloysius library. They are, his wife Laila Kabir, his trusted right hand Freddy D’Sa and Mangalore based advocate Clarence Pais.

It was Freddy D’sa who informed Clarence about the plan of Fernandes family to donate the books from his library to a Catholic institution in Mangalore. Though initially, the names of a Bishop run institution and Milagres college cropped up, later it was decided to donate the books to SAC library as the college administration positively responded to the idea.

Soon, the books were transported from Delhi to Mangalore and were accommodated in the college library. The book section was formally inaugurated on March 11 in the presence of Fredrick D’Sa and Clarence Pais.

Librarian George Rodrigues said that the college has plans to open a research centre on social science under the name of George Fernandes in the coming days, as a gesture of gratitude for the generous donor.

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