Real People, Real Stories- Interview with Mr. Harshad Fad, Organizer, Human Library Hyderabad
Arguendo has a tete-a-tete with Mr. Harshad Fad, Organizer of Human Library Hyderabad (HLH)
It all started with a really nice article by TheBetterIndia on Human Library Hyderabad’s first event and the movement worldwide that went viral. I guess that gave us a very good reach and identity all over the world and not only India as there were calls from UK, Mexico, Columbia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and many other countries. What it did in effect was that many people were willing to start a Human Library in their cities and today we see the number only growing every month.
(S): Do you feel the HLH can help breakdown stereotypes?
(H): Yes, it is already doing that. The framework works. We have had people coming and telling us how deep the impact has been on them and they found themselves living with many misconceptions about a certain issue their entire lives until the time they actually met and spoke to someone representing that topic at the Human Library.
(S): How do you make sure that the “Human Books” are in a safe environment at Library?
(H): So far we have experienced that the readers who came to our library came with an open mind to listen and understand what the books wanted to say. We have been lucky to have a very disciplined and receptive crowd that way. However, on our side, we make sure the readers are informed that this framework is based on mutual respect. The books are informed to categorically deny questions that might be uncomfortable to answer. The librarians also try and talk to the books after every session to see if they are all right and need anything.
(S): Do you have plans to see that the Human Libraries spread all over India?
(H): Yes, of course, there are Human Libraries in Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Surat and now Bangalore as well. In the next five years, I guess we will have a Human Library in every major city and town in India.
(S): What is the story in the “Human Book” titled “Life of Harshad Dinkar Fad”?
(H): It’s a story of a perseverant and a tidsoptimist. A story of the best student and a dropout. A story of sincerity and rebel. The story of a genius and an idiot.