Is Kerala’s Perumkulam the first and only Book Village in India?

A book village in Maharashtra was inaugurated in 2017 where Kerala's Perumkulam was declared as a book village in 2021.

Claim

India’s first and only Book Village — it’s in Kerala, of course!

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Explanation

A video showing a book village in Kerala is shared by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to claim that it is the first and only ‘Book Village’ in India.

 

This claim was also shared in April 2023 claiming that Kerala’s Perumkulam is India’s first ‘Pusthaka Gramam’ or ‘Book Village’. This post quoted DD news video.

What is the Truth?

When searching with relevant keywords we found that Kerala’s Perumkulam is not the only ‘Book Village’ or even the first book village in India. The Hindu article dated June 2021 reported that Perumkulam, a village in Kerala’s Kollam district was declared a ‘Pusthaka Gramam (village of books) on 19, June 2021.

The article further states that the village was described as ‘Book Village’ informally in June 2020. In addition to it, the article mentions about Bhilar, a village in Maharashtra’s satara district that was declared Pustakanch Gaav (village of books) in 2017. This becomes an inspiration for the launch of Book Village in Kerala.

Deccan Herald article dated April 2017 reported that India’s first book village would be inaugurated on 4, May 2017. The Hindu article dated 5, May 2017 reported that the India’s first ‘Village of Books’ was inaugurated on 4, May 2017.

We also found a video regarding Maharashtra’s Bhilar, India’s first ‘village of books’ on Mink Youtube channel. This video was uploaded on 8, May 2017 with a description “Modelled on Hay-on-Wye, the famous ‘town of books’ in Wales, India’s ‘village of books’ is set to come up in Bhilar in Maharashtra”. This clarifies that Kerala is not the first or only book village in India.

Conclusion

It is found that Kerala’s Perumkulam is not the first or only book village in India as claimed. It is to be noted that Maharashtra’s Bhilar is the first book village inaugurated in India in 2017 way before Kerala’s Perumkulam was declared as one in 2021.

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