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Garden library opens

Kurseong, Sept. 25: From The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai to Timi Bhayako Nabhayako Bhela by Nepali author Satish Rasaily — the new library at Makaibari Tea Estate has it all.

The community library, which has come up in a single room on the garden premises, 3km from here, was the brainchild of two US visitors Mike Matergia and Denna Weiss. It was inaugurated today by Srirupa Banerjee, the wife of Makaibari owner Rajah Banerjee, in a programme attended by workers of the estate, management staff members and children from a primary school near the estate.

“We came here to work on a community health programme. During our stay, we got involved with the people here and decided to build a library for them. At present there are 1,600 books, a TV with DVD player, and one computer to be used by students,” said Mike before the inauguration. Both Mike and Denna are from Pennsylvania.

“The people really have been wonderful in lending support to the library project. We had been working day and night so that we could inaugurate it today as we have to go back soon,” she said.

The Community Health Advancement Initiative — an NGO based in Darjeeling, which conducts community health programmes in the garden — has been instrumental in building the library and learning centre.

“We mainly looked after the construction of the building and its interiors. We are happy that the people here will also have a library,” said Sunil Gurung the project officer of the NGO.

A committee comprising representatives from seven villages here will look into the functioning of the library for the first two months.

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