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Indonesian Man Creates Horseback Library to Promote Local Literacy

While knowledge is often centralized in libraries and universities, one Indonesian man is taking it to the streets of his village with the help of his trusted steed.

Ridwan Sururi, 42, lives in the village of Serang at the base of the Slamet volcano in Central Java province and has made a living taking care of horses, reports Southeast Asia Globe.

After meeting Nirwan Arsuka, a fellow horse lover, on social media, the pair decided to launch Kudapustaka, a project aimed at increasing local literacy levels by creating a mobile, horse-drawn library.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Sururi leads one of his horses around the village with a stockpile of books.

Initially offering 136 children’s books, the library has swelled with donations to include thousands of texts.

Sururi is a popular attraction when he visits local schools as children rush to take out and return books.

According to the online magazine, while Indonesia has done a solid job addressing its illiteracy rate, there’s still much to do. Books are expensive, libraries rare and there are disagreements about the language in which books should be printed.

For Sururi, opening a door to education is well worth the early mornings and two jobs.

“I’m not a smart man, so let me be the one who’s not educated,” he told the Globe. “I want the children in my village to [become] smart through the books.”

[Photo via Southeast Asia Globe]

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