Separate seats for elderly & the disabled in 485 libraries

Separate seats for elderly & the disabled in 485 libraries

There is good news for senior citizens and the disabled who hesitate to visit libraries for lack of comfortable sitting space. Seats will be reserved for them in 485 libraries across Karnataka, including 27 city central libraries in Bengaluru.

Mayor G Padmavathi has instructed the Department of Public Library to reserve seats in Bengaluru’s libraries, after a senior citizen, K Jagannath, approached her. But the department has gone a step further and decided to reserve seats in the State Central Library, city central libraries, district libraries and their branch libraries.

Jagannath had told the mayor that he cannot make use of the city central library in Jayanagar because there are no separate seats for senior citizens. He also noticed that physically challenged people face a similar problem. “I am a voracious reader and visiting libraries has been my habit. But most of the time, I found no space to sit and read. At this age, I cannot stand for hours together. I feel there should be some space reserved for elderly people,” he said.

He took his plight to the mayor and the Department for the Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens. Acknowledging his concerns, the mayor wrote to the Department of Public Library on January 4 to reserve space in Bengaluru’s libraries for elderly people, the physically challenged and women.

Following the letter, the department has reserved four seats for elderly people and two for the disabled at the Jayanagar library. But Satish Kumar Hosamani, the director of the department, took a step further. In a circular on January 25, he directed all district-level public libraries and their branches to reserve seats for senior citizens and physically challenged people.

There are 6,777 libraries in Karnataka, including 485 district-level libraries and branch libraries, according to a source in the department.

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