Librarian Yashoda Shenoy, age 13
Yashoda was deeply saddened when she was asked to pay a fine by a library for returning the book late. She did not understand why she had to pay a fine for a book that she wanted to read. However, she started receiving books from various people after her father took to Facebook to narrate this incident.
When she received a pile of books, she thought of starting her own library in the house. She set up the library after her parents allowed her to take the top floor of their house. ‘Yashoda library’ currently has a collection of more than 6000 books and is an important space for hundreds of book lovers.
The library membership is free. There will not be any fine imposed if a book is returned late and there is no monthly fee either. These are the major highlights of Yashoda’s library. She is a high school student at Mattancherry TD High school. “I felt very sad when I was made to pay the fine. How can the poor people pay fine,” she asked while recounting the incident that led to all this. BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan sent 108 books after getting to know about the incident, she said.Yashoda’s father’s friends also sent her several books.
The top floor of the house near the Mattanchery temple now has almost all important works of Malayalam literature. Yashoda is supported by her father Dinesh Shenoy, who is an artist, mother Brahmaja and brother Achyuth. She studies in the library after returning from school in the evening. Meantime, she also distributes books to those visiting the library.
The pandemic happened when the library was about to enter its second year. Nobody is allowed to enter the library under the current circumstances. Instead, books are distributed by Yashoda in front of her house after making sure they have applied sanitizers. Returned books are distributed again only after disinfecting it by keeping it in a special room for a week.