Govt lauds octogenarians love for books

Govt lauds octogenarians love for books
Highlights

Lanka Suryanarayana, treasurer of Annamaya Seva Samithi, received an Ugadi Puraskar from Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for his relentless efforts towards the establishment of Annamayya Sahithya Grandalaya at Guntur. This is the first time the State government has decided to give an award to a library and its founder.

Lanka Suryanarayana, treasurer of Annamaya Seva Samithi, received an Ugadi Puraskar from Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for his relentless efforts towards the establishment of Annamayya Sahithya Grandalaya at Guntur. This is the first time the State government has decided to give an award to a library and its founder. Suryanarayana expressed happiness on the government recognising his efforts to establish the library.

Being a bibliophile, Suryanarayana collected books of old and renowned authors. Before the establishment of Annamayya Grandalaya, his home was the shelter for thousands of books. Suryanarayana at 80 years of age is a voracious reader and a vociferous campaigner of books and libraries, which, he says, are temples of knowledge. “For those pursuing research in any subject, a library will serve as a treasure trove of knowledge for reference. Research scholars from any university can visit the library and there is not a book which they will not find,” assures Suryanarayana.

Lanka Suryanarayana (second from left) with fellow readers

The Annamaya Library has a collection of over one lakh books on various subjects. Of these, 70,000 are in Telugu and 30,000 in English. Volumes of spiritual literature are available here. There are 800 translations and commentaries of the Bhagavath Gita and 1,400 translations and commentaries of the Ramayanam. “If computers are going to replace books, then why do we have 1,200 English dictionaries currently?” the librarian asks.

“Despite the advent of electronic media and computers, reading habits of people are not dwindling and books are here to stay,” says the octogenarian, and goes on to add that any book of old which is missing in other libraries can be found here. “Even a 50 year old Times Magazine of USA can be found in this library. The credit for such a feat goes to Gummadi Radha Krishna, the secretary of the Annamaya Seva Samithi,” he says.

The library has three lakh paper cuttings from a bygone era. The library also has 99 translations of ‘Geethanjali’ authored by Rabindranath Tagore and the noted literary classic ‘Where the Mind Is without Fear’. The library also has some 3,000 odd paintings, literary works on music and 50 kinds of very old magazines of our country and state. And the list goes on endlessly, with 6,000 autobiographies of legendary people and so on and so forth. “Computers come and computers may go, but a book knows no death,” avers Suryanarayana.

By:Ravi P Benjamin

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