In conversation with Mr Sufiyan associated with shah walliullah Library

In conversation with Mr Sufiyan who runs a blog on Delhi and associated with shah walliullah Library.

Q- How you Look at all these old Libraries in Delhi?

All these libraries are very important part of the old and past reading culture of the city. And right now these libraries playing an important role in maintain this culture of reading in their local areas. Local people and students come here every day sit and read. Researcher from different universities comes here in the search of old books and documents and foreign students also come here for their research purpose. So over all these libraries are the important part of old Delhi and the culture of this city.

Q- When you associated with the shah waliullah Library? And what kind of work you do for the progress of this Library?

I live in this area where this library is situated and by profession I am an engineer but I have a huge interest in history and culture of Delhi. I associated with the group who founded this library few years ago and for the library program. In the local area we provide coaching, counselling to the local children and student and also provide study material to them. Library has collected many new books which related to the sally bus of college going student and also for those who are preparing for the competition exams. We also have huge material on history of Delhi and British for the researchers. Library progress in terms of books is really good but we have very limited space.

Q- Can you tell us what residents of old Delhi think about these Libraries?

 

Here in the local area mostly people are happy because of this library because library helps lots of student of local area.

Q- What do you think about the present conditions of these Libraries?

We members of DYWA collect money through donation by the members of the group. But this library is not taking any financial help from government. Presentlylibrary has very limited space. We need bigger space to put all the collection at one place and for the setup of a big reading room. These are the main challenges we are facing. If we look at the fatehpuri library and marwarilibrary these libraries also have very limited space. Shortage of funds is also an important issue for these libraries because government is not helping and donations are not enough to maintain the library in proper manner. These libraries have shortage of staff and facilities. Like Xerox, scanning, restoration and preservation facilities of the documents.

Q- How will you describe the reading culture of Delhi?

It is difficult to comment on the reading culture of Delhi because since these libraries established in Delhi during the colonial time or before that Delhi was the cosmopolitan city. And the because of its cosmopolitan nature different type of literature came to Delhi in different languages. Here we have Muslim history texts in the libraries as well as the ancient Sanskrit texts also. Urdu, Persianliterature and translated texts of other languages.

 

In conversation with Mr Aryan, Assistant librarian and care taker of the Marwari library.

 

Q- For How Many years you are working here in the Marwari Library?

I am working here for the last 25 years.

 

Q- Do you think being one of the oldest libraries in Delhi Marwari library has its relevance in today’s time?

Yes off course it has great relevance even today, first of all this library have many old books and magazines which is important for the researchers. And secondly this library have big reading hall for the daily commuters and readers. Many students and local people come here for the reading purpose. Local traders also come here to read newspapers, and old people also come here for the reading newspaper.

Q- This library has membership system or you allow readers for free?

No we have a proper membership system here Rs 500/ per year for one member. And we also have daily commuters who just come for the newspaper reading. Every day we almost have 100 readers and we have 250 registered members of the library. A researcher also needs to take the membership first then we allow him/her to look at the material which is available here.

Q- Tell us about the historicalimportance of the library?

This library was founded in 1915, when national movement was going on many wealthy Marwari traders gave donation to the library that time. This place becomes the one of the important centre for the meetings and discussions at that time in Delhi. Many local freedom fighters sit here and make their plans. Many people big national leader’svisits this place at that time. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Ganga dhartilak, And many others also.

Q- How library gets its funding and funds for other expenditure?

Library is governed by Marwari Trust and whatever expenditure of the library is like salaries of the employees, books purchasing, Manintance, all these things managed by the donations given the Marwari society and its members. This library is not taking any kind of support from the Government. All the expense managed by the trust. We have long list of donors from various places not even Delhi.

Q- How can we say that these libraries are symbols of the cultural heritage of chandnichowk and old Delhi?

Well, this library was established in 1915, almost hundred years have completed. And this was the part of national movement in Delhi and also the part of the great reading culture of the city. So that it is the symbol of the cultural heritage of the city. And all these other libraries also makechandni chock a cultural place. Like old hardayal library, fatehpuri library in the complex of fatehpuri Masjid. And city shahjahanabad also a world heritage city and its monuments like red fort, jama masjid are big heritage. Other important thing is that these libraries are not just the simple library but all these places are the important treasure of the old documents, books, texts, which is important because all these things have something to tell us about our past and important events.