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Parsi library now has newspapers & periodicals

DNAHM77736 | 11/24/2014 | Author : dna correspondent | WC :410

Many crucial books in the library are destroyed or in a dilapidated condition
bookworms starve here

Surat: Once a repository of immense learning, the 105-year-old Nanpura Parsi Library and Reading Room is today a pale reflection of a glorious past. While it could once boast its splendid collection of books related to Parsi culture, it has now only a few newspapers, besides some Gujarati and Hindi periodicals to satisfy intellectual cravings.
The second most popular place for booklovers, after Saint Andrew's Library at Chowk Bazaar, the library and reading room was operated by Surat Nanpura Parsi Anjuman Trust. The trust, which functioned from donations it received from the Parsi community, decided to close down the library after the flow of donations ebbed.
With dwindling interest levels, majority of the books at the library (including the ones written by Parsi writers) were shifted to Parsi library at Navsari and Mumbai.
"This library was the sole spot for Parsis in Surat to gather knowledge from invaluable books in Parsi language by Parsi authors, besides other books in Persian language. After prominent Parsis like Cawasji Modi and Mehernosh Katpitia passed away, the library was almost rendered defunct by later generations who did not take any interest in maintaining it," rued Darayus Master, ex-president of Surat Parsi Panchayat.
According to Master, this was the only Parsi library in entire Surat. Today, Navsari town has one such library.
City-based historian, Mohan Meghani said: "The library had a rich collection of books related to Parsi religion and culture. After it closed down, books were shifted to another library that was operated by the Surat Parsi Panchayat."
However, the shut doors reopened again when Manav Vikas Sansthan, a trust handling the St. Andrew's Library, took reins of Parsi library in 1980. But it seems, the enlightenment has been lost forever. For now, the once respendent repository of learning now houses only a few newspapers and periodicals. However, the trust has its own explanations for the malady. "Due to limited resources, we are unable to re-develop the Parsi library, though we are trying our best to keep the century-old library alive. It is open for eight hours in the day and we bear all expenses, including salary for the staff," said Roshni Marfatia, an official at the St Andew's Library.
Learning changes
Manav Vikas Sansthan, a trust handling the St. Andrew’s Library, took reins of Parsi library in 1980. But it seems, the enlightenment has been lost forever. For now, the once resplendent repository of learning now houses only a few newspapers and periodicals.

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