'One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.' It is based on this lasting effect of a deep conversation between two people that the concept of the human library evolved.
Serving as outlets to those who've been on the receiving end of prejudice, social exclusion or stigma, 'human libraries' are places where readers get to 'borrow' 'human books' and converse with them, thus helping them understand various societal issues better. Being event-based, these libraries do not have a fixed physical location.
Book: A person who's experienced the brutality of society
Borrow: Conversing with human book for a period of 30- 40 minutes.
Page: Every experience of the book can be considered a page.
Cover: The appearance of the person can be compared to the cover of a book.
The first human library was founded in the spring of 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark as a brainchild of the organisation 'Stop the Violence', and was open for eight hours a day for four days. It featured over 50 'titles' and witnessed the participation of over a thousand readers. Chapters of the Human Library, established in over 70 countries since then, debuted in India in the city of Indore, eventually spreading to other cities such as Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and their likes.
With these libraries providing a unique solution to various societal problems by profoundly impacting the reader and giving the reader a different vantage point on the issue, participation in these event-based congregations will go a long way in bettering the society. Besides, India being a country where social standing plays a major role in the way people are perceived, it is highly essential that our mind's eye is not blocked by misconceptions of any sort.
Containing an assortment of 15 books including a young Politician, an Urdu speaking brahmin, the dancing masculus, wonder woman and a liver of life in olive green, to name a few books, NIT Trichy is all set to host a human library during Pragyan 2018, the 14th edition of the institute's annual international techno-managerial festival. With 900 odd participants slated to take part, the congregation is to be one of the largest human libraries.
Pragyan 2018 under the patronage of Make In India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, CEE/ SAYEN and Indian National Commission in Cooperation with UNESCO, scheduled to take place from March 1 to 4, 2018, strives to make a difference in the mindsets of readers by enabling them to look at the endless issues plaguing our society, from a different, and fresher perspective, adding the next dimension of humanness in an increasingly insensitive world.