Saraswata Niketanam, located in Vetapalem, Andhra Pradesh is one of India’s foremost privately owned, research oriented libraries which has been rendering services to the cause of education and research for over a century. It was established on 15th October 1918 on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dasami by V.V. Shreshty (my great grand uncle). Its name spread far and wide, and was graced by the the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu, Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narsimhamam and Rajendra Prasad during India’s fight for independence, more recent visitors include PV Narsimha Rao and Venkayya Naidu. Many research scholars from India and abroad visit the library to access arcane reference material, a true testament to the standing that it has achieved in the field of Telugu Culture and Literature
Since its inception, the library has become a treasured storehouse of many invaluable items such as palm leaf manuscripts, Mahatma Gandhis walking stick and newspapers dating back to the 1940s. Many literary journals like Bharathi, Krishna Pathrika, Griha Lakshmi, Sarada, Andhra Sahitya Parishad Pathrika etc (Telugu) and Triveni, Prabudha Bharatha, Modern Review, Harijan etc (English) carefully bound and preserved in the Library. The library also boasts of a collection of about 1 lakh volumes including few palm leaf manuscripts, rare and out of print books in Telugu, Sanskrit, English, Hindi and other languages.
More information about the library can be found here.
The library is managed by a trust and relies heavily on donations and grants for funding. The President; KV Mallikarjuna Rao (nephew of the founder, VV Shreshty and my Grandfather) has received four awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh for his yeoman service to the upkeep of the library.
The library is planning to celebrate its centenary with an array of cultural programs from the 1st to 5th October 2019 by inviting distinguished individuals across academia, civil society and government. In light of the same, the organizers (a few members of my family, employees of the library and members of the Trust) seek a sum of INR 1 million (10 lakh) which will be used for, but not limited to the following purposes
1. Pest prevention treatment
2. Painting of exterior
3. Mementos for the guests
6. Arranging transport for guests
10. Erecting Stage
11. Renting of furniture
13. Ensuring Longevity of books and other artefacts through lamination
Your generous contribution will not only ensure the smooth functioning of the event but will also add to the corpus of the library, allowing it to maintain its century long legacy as a treasure trove of knowledge, erudition and public service. In this day and age, libraries world-over are losing their charm and relevance due to the internet and Saraswata Niketanam is no exception. Your donation will help us better maintain the priceless artefacts that we have and hopefully attract more and more people to visit
Saraswata Niketanam holds a special place in the hearts of many people generations in Vetapalem and any monetary contribution to the library is of service to the entire town and future generations who can also benefit from the enormous cultural repository that it contains