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A library where you can borrow humans

Most of us have gone to a library and checked out a book, but what if you could now borrow a human to answer all your questions instead? Yes, there is something called a Human Library, and this Sunday (June 18) it’s making its way to Delhi. This unique concept allows you to borrow a ‘human book’ for around 20 minutes, ask any number of questions to them that would help dispel misconceptions, provide more information and provide participants with better knowledge of a subject or idea, after which they are to be ‘returned’ to the depot.

Started in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000 by Ronni Abergel in an attempt to enforce social change and encourage conversation around marginalised communities, the Human Library movement has expanded to around 80 countries. In India, it was introduced in Hyderabad, then made its way to Mumbai, before coming to the Capital. According to Neha Singh, book depot manager of the Delhi chapter, the first event will showcase ‘books’ from 11 categories, ranging from a recovering drug abuser, Buddhism practitioner and tea-seller turned author to female solo traveller, cancer survivors, bullying victim and a history chronicler, among others.

The human books have been chosen based on their knowledge of the subject and their personal experiences. Some have previously participated in the project and are even known figures in their respective fields, along side others who are first-timers. Singh expects 500-600 at the first event, in which she has partnered with . She and her team hope to organise at least one such meet a month, at varying venues and different books each time.

The Human Library, Delhi, opens on June 18, from 2pm to 7pm at Innov8, Connaught Place. The event is free for all. Book slots will be given on first come, first served basis.

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Mian Bilal

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