This young duo from Odisha is teaching India with a mobile book van
Akshaya Routray is 34, and Satabdi Mishra is 32 years old. They met at a book store. Being book lovers themselves, they decided to help make books accessible to everyone, especially children and those living in remote areas. They soon started Walking BookFairs, a mobile book store which runs on wheels.
“We realised how the common man feels intimidated by the thought of entering a book store. When we took books on to the road, it was for the entire public and people did not hesitate to come and see,” Satabdi told The Hindu in an interview. Once started from Bhubaneshwar, the duo and their book store on wheels has so far been to Chattisgarh, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Kerala.
The van works as the book store. In an interview with The New Indian Express, Akshaya said, “It is not about profitability, to be honest. It’s more about doing what is one’s passion. I had the experience of selling books and I felt story books are never considered important anywhere in the State.” Having experienced the joy of reading and making others read, the duo cannot think of doing anything else. In their own little way, Satabdi and Akshaya are ensuring that books never die.
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