World’s First Library on Tram Dedicated to Children

The West Bengal Transport Corporation and Apeejay Anand Children’s Library team up to gift Kolkata, the Kolkata Young Reader’s Tramcar. This first ever children’s tram library is also first of its kind in the world, giving access to children across age groups and segments to pick and read their favourite book while on the move. 

The beautiful library on wheels has been decorated with attractive artworks of children reading, hand painted by local artists, housing books across genres for young readers adorning its shelves rolled on its first trip to encourage and inspire children to read and experience the joy of reading. The WBTC that runs the only existing tramway in India is running this unique tramcar in collaboration with the Apeejay Anand Children’s Library team.

Video of the Tram Library

Helping WBTC, the Oxford Bookstores has curated a unique selection of titles and literature across various young reading age groups for the Kolkata Young Reader’s Tram Car. Yearlong activities for children on board the tramcar, such as story telling dramatized readings, poetry sessions, book launches, music and more are also on the cards, to captivate young minds.

While, launching the Kolkata Young Readers’ Tram Car, Rajanvir Singh Kapur, MD, West Bengal Transport Corporation, said “ The idea behind the Kolkata Young Reader’s Tramcar is that all children should get access to read good books and what better than the Kolkata trams! The tram would run on Shyambazar Esplanade and Esplanade Gariahat routes spanning North to South of Kolkata and there would be no ticket for children and Kanyashrees (18 or below) in this tramcar. People more than 18 can surely enjoy the tramcar as well, at normal AC tram fares. We thank the efforts and zeal of Apeejay Anand Children’s Library team to associate with this project, implementing it at super lightning speed. It is truly a great Children’s day gift for Kolkata.”

On the occasion,  Ms. Priti Paul, Apeejay Surrendra Group Director said “As a Group deeply vested in both the heritage and progressive future of Kolkata, we are delighted to partner with the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) in this novel venture of ‘Kolkata Young Readers’ Tramcar’ which encompasses both“.

Ms. Maina Bhagat, Director Apeejay Oxford Bookstores, said “Our Heritage Oxford Bookstore Kolkata is proud to have supported the reading habit  across generations of readers both  across the city and the nation. It now literally, ‘moves ahead’ with the the Kolkata Young Readers’ Tramcar.”

The Kolkata tramways have been operating since 1873 when the maiden tram took off with horses. In 1880, the Calcutta Tramway Company was formed in London which is now called the WBTC that runs the only existing tramways in India. The WBTC has taken lot of steps recently to popularise tram as a choice mode of Kolkata’s transport. Earlier, heritage arts were put in trams making people aware of heritage. Then, the Tram Library was launched and recently, a jute tram: Paat Rani was also started. This Kolkata Young Readers’ Tramcar has been conceptualised by WBTC in collaboration with Apeejay Anand Children’s Library. 

Apeejay Anand Children’s Library, an Education Support Program was incorporated in 1992 in Kolkata in the loving memory of Priti, Priya and Karan Paul’s brother Anand [1972-1989].  Conceptualized as a visually exciting and happy space that draws kids in, Apeejay Anand Children’s Library, has over the years, become stimulating learning stations. The books in the Library have been donated by Group’s Bookstore chain, Oxford Bookstore.