19th September, 2012, Chandni Chowk, Hardayal Municipal Public Library in Old Delhi plays host to many stray cats.
This Raj-era library, was instituted by the British in 1862, when it was called the Institute Library. Now housing some 8,000 rare books (of a total of 1,70,000) in a building nearly a century old it has close to 1,200 members and gets several hundred visitors a day. The rare books include a 1677 edition of Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World and a Herodotus volume in the original Greek from 1826. But these books, like the library, are currently facing a threat. It has been four months since the library received salaries for its staff, let alone development funds and its feared it will be closed.
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