If you travel in the Delhi metro, you know how every commuters' eyes are glued to their smartphones and tablets. A couple from Delhi is working to encourage metro-travelers to put down the tabs and pick up a book, and quite literally at that.
A Delhi couple is trying to share their love of reading with their fellow metro riders by leaving books in metro trains and metro stations. Called 'Books on the Delhi Metro,' the non-profit project was started a month ago by Shruti Sharma, a writer, and Tarun Chauhan, a civil engineer.
Last year, actress Emma Watson left copies of her favourite book on the New York City subway to encourage reading among people and that's what inspired Shruti to kickstart a similar initiative here in Delhi.
Books on the Delhi Metro is the Delhi branch of the umbrella movement, Books on the Move started by Hollie Fraser and Rosy Kehdi in London.
Shruti shares, "It all started when I watched an Instagram video of Emma Watson dropping books on New York’s Subway. Because I am a huge Potterhead, I immediately followed her cause and found that she was dropping books for Books on the Subway. I jumped in at the thought of doing it in my own city and contacted their founder and the lady agreed".
After the couple drop off a book marked with a 'Books on the Delhi Metro' sticker on the Delhi Metro, they immediately post clues about its location on their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Anyone who picks up the book is encouraged to post about their discovery using the hashtag #booksonthedelhimetro, read the book and eventually return it to the Delhi Metro for someone else to read.
Sometimes, the books can even be found inside the trains. The passenger picks up the book and tags Shruti to know that they have taken it.
Even though BODM started with just two people - and with Sharma giving books away from her personal collection - it has grown into a community of over 15 'book fairies' or volunteers who drop books on every line of the metro.