Wednesday, March 11, 2015

11 March: Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III birth anniversary

Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III
"The people must rise superior to their circumstances and realize that more knowledge is their greatest need, their greatest want. They must be brought up to love books, not simply attractive bindings or pretty pictures, but their contents. They must be taught to regard books as part of their lives. Libraries will not then appear a luxury, but a necessity of existence." - Sayajirao Gaekwad III
Sayajirao Gaekwad III (born Shrimant Gopalrao Gaekwad, 11 March 1863 – d. 6 February 1939) was the Maharaja of Baroda State, and is notably remembered for reforming much of his state during his rule. Crowned in 1875, Sayajirao is widely regarded as one of the greatest statesmen and educator of pre-independent India. He was an avant-garde ruler who initiated several educational, economic, cultural and societal reforms during his lifetime.
The Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad, is undoubtedly the father of the Library Movement in India. He was a great patron of learning. He decided to establish library as an experiment in one of the towns of a taluka and in order to implement his idea in 1906. He brought to Baroda an American library expert Mr. Borden who started a system of public libraries in the state.
At the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Shree Jayasinhrao Library of Baroda, 16th December 1937, Sayajirao spoke - “Partly successful in my efforts to promote the welfare of my people. We do not all get equal opportunities in life, nor do we get sufficient scope or encouragement for what we wish to do. I have done the best I could within my limitations and I am happy to say that I have been able to provide a network of libraries for my people, bringing about a healthy change in their outlook, culture and general knowledge.”
Sayajirao Gaekwad

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