SOUTH TANGERANG: Singing and laughter briefly drown out the roar of cars under a Jakarta flyover, where an unlikely library for kids is thriving despite choking fumes—and opposition from menacing gangsters, reports AFP. There’s no quiet rule at this open-air reading park wedged between two lanes of traffic just outside Indonesia’s capital, a city of some 30 million that is notorious for having some of the world’s worst traffic jams.
Despite its unlikely location, the Taman Baca Masyarakat Kolong has been a hit.A shortage of public libraries means it’s one of the few places where kids from this area can read books outside school.
“We wanted to bring books closer to the community,” Devina Febrianti, a library coordinator, told AFP as car horns blared accompanied by choking exhaust fumes.
Several years ago, the flyover in suburb Ciputat, part of Jakarta’s greater metropolitan area, was strewn with rubbish and roamed by intimidating street thugs, Febrianti said.
But armed with books and paint, local organisations set about transforming its down-and-out reputation.