An academic library, nesting about 20,000 books, set up at the second floor of a residential home at Perungudi in Chennai for the benefit of ‘serious and committed’ research scholars and other students is the talk of the town!
Most retired people secure their future with the money they get from provident funds and other retirement benefits. But for some people, the story is different and more selfless. Dr. V. Arasu, the former head of the Tamil Department of University of Madras, who, because of paucity of time and money could not realize his dream of setting up a library before has used his savings to do what the have always wanted to do.
Dr. Arasu has always had great passion for books. He has been collecting books since 1970, when he was a college student. In spite of facing difficulties in keeping them safely in his rented houses, he has been doing so. Upon retirement, instead of using his benefits for securing his future like most people do, he spent Rs. 15 lakh for establishing the academic library at his home.
This library has almost 15000 books in Tamil and approximately 5000 books in English. Most of them are based on the Tamil literature and culture. His collection of books also includes all the dictionaries published in Tamil, literary magazines which generate new trends in the Tamil literature, mementos on the Tamil scholars such as R. P. Sethu Pillai, U. V. Swaminatha Iyer etc. and also books on Eelam literature.
The students are not only welcome to study from the wonderful collection, they are also welcome to stay in the separate room created by him in the library. Not only this, they can even have food prepared at Dr. Arasu’s home.
All these facilities are provided by him to the students so that they are able to study in a congenial atmosphere. Heads bow in respect for such selfless personalities, who instead of caring for their own comforts, work for the better education of the children and therefore for the upliftment of the country at large!