Mysuru: Odina Mane is a bookworm's haven

Outside Odine Mane, Prabhakar has made arrangements for the people to read newspapers. He provides 8 to10 Kannada dailies sittiing in front of Odina Mane. A table and few chairs have also been arranged for readers outside the premises of Odina Mane.

At a time when the habit of reading is fading away due to various reasons, Odina Mane, a free private library, is spreading the love of reading among the citizens of the city.

B Prabhakar, who runs Odina Mane, used to charge for the books earlier. But, now, he insists only on enrollment for a nominal fee of Rs 50. He was into the business of selling utensils earlier.

Odina Mane on Thyagaraj Road, in Agrahara, in the city, lends books to readers free of cost. Some people also read newspapers and books on the premises of the library. Prabhakar has been lending books to the readers for the past 30 years. Initially, he started Odina Mane as a circulating library and used to charge a nominal rent for the books issued to the readers. But, from the year 2007, he decided to provide the books to the readers free of cost. The only condition for the people to borrow the books from Odina Mane is that the person should be a member. The membership fee is a nominal Rs 50.

Prabhakar has more than 2,000 books, including novels and philosophical books, in his collection. People can read the books at Odina Mane even without being a member. But, they cannot take the books home.

Speaking to DH, Prabhakar said, "Knowledge should always be shared. It is my small effort to provide easy access to books to the readers. There are 100 members in the library. I am managing the library with the help of donors. Many readers who borrow the books, are prompt and return the books without fail.”

Outside Odine Mane, Prabhakar has made arrangements for the people to read newspapers. He provides 8 to10 Kannada dailies sittiing in front of Odina Mane. A table and few chairs have also been arranged for readers outside the premises of Odina Mane.

Prabhakar, who is also well-known in the locality as Puttanna, helps elderly people and those from economically backward communities by offering them pension. For the past 12 years, Prabhakar has been providing Rs 300 pension to 15 people with the help of donors.

Speaking to DH, Suresh, an auditor who visits Odina Mane, said, "Prabhakar is providing books to the readers without any expectation. I always come here to borrow books. Many people borrow books from the library. Moreover, he runs this library from the donations from donors".

In future, Prabhakar has plans to teach Kannada to people who do not know the language.

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Mysuru: Odina Mane is a bookworm's haven

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