Shaila Patnaik was the first volunteer to join Bakul outside the group the group
that formed it. She "dropped from heaven" just before the opening of the library
and remained active till 2009, when she left for Delhi. She continues to be active
when she is in Bhubaneswar.
"My Bakul experience started on the 29th of March, 2007 when I got a call from Sujit
asking me to meet him at Bakul that morning. Sujit’s enthusiasm was, and still is,
infectious to the extreme! The opening came and went. Extreme last-minute errands
notwithstanding, the inauguration of Bakul Children’s Library was a resounding success.
In the following days, I came and helped out whenever and wherever I could. Working
at Bakul has been such a great experience. I experienced things I never thought
I would, I met people from a variety of backgrounds and I saw firsthand how a few
good men and women, who had dared to dream big, had succeeded in fulfilling their
dreams. I have seen kids coming regularly to enjoy a world of books that, normally,
they would have never had access to. I have met the most amazing people, the likes
of whom I didn’t know even existed in Bhubaneswar . The highs, the lows, the narrow
squeaks, the giddying successes , the parties (!!) - I wouldn’t miss it for the
world.If there’s anything I’ve learnt from Sujit and the Bakulians, it’s this -
Bring it on!"