Dharavi, a slum in the Indian city of Bombay, is one of the largest slums in the world. It has suffered through many incidences of epidemics and other disasters.
It was featured prominently in Danny Boyle's 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, where several of the child actors in the film are actually from the Dharavi slum
A few months ago, a group of girls came up with an idea to start a community lending library in the very slum, where they live, and give the opportunity to other children to develop a love of reading
The idea became a project and it was named The Dharavi Community Library and Literacy Project. (PS: It's also known as 'Friends Library').
One of the tasks on their long to-do list was to paint the library space, and to create a cheerful environment for children to spend time in.wordpress.com
These photos provide a glimpse into the library space
On 1 February 2014, after months of hard work, the project came into fruition with the inauguration of the 'Friends Library'. The day was a huge success, with over 100 visitors to the library during opening hours!
The vast majority of visitors were children from Dharavi, whose eyes shone with delight at the array of books available to read. Parents, community members, school teachers and well-wishers also stopped by to congratulate the ALF library team on this exciting milestone.wordpress.com
Have a look at the following photos to get a glimpse into the energy and excitement of the inaugural day:
In the 'Friends Library', books are catalogued according to age group and genre, allowing children to choose books according to their age group and interest
On the same day, few girls from a neighbourhood school popped into the library, and stayed there for hours reading their books
Needless to say, it was a much needed space for kids in the slum, with some refusing to leave even after closing time
The library now has more than 350 books, which children can borrow for a refundable deposit of Rs 20
“We always felt there are many students in our area who never got a chance to read books as there was no library in the area and buying these books was unaffordable,” said Menaga Nadar, one of the founders of the library.indianexpress.com