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By January 8, 2018No Comments

Source : The Pioneer

NBT Chairperson Baldeo Bhai Sharma and director Rita Chowdhary talk to Team Vivaabout the dedicated pavilion for children to instill the habit of reading among the young


With a major focus on environment and climate change, the 45th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair  will begin today.

Co-organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) and ITPO, the Theme Pavilion will highlight various environment-related issues like climate change, global warming, water pollution and other relevant matters. Said  NBT Chairperson, Baldeo Bhai Sharma: “Environment is a topic which needs to be given more attention. We need to focus more on this subject, generate more awareness for our better future. An especially a theme Pavilion has been designed this year from environmental-friendly material like bamboo, cane, jute and others.”

The fair also marks the return of a publisher from Pakistan as last year only one distributor had set up a stall. However, Sharma sought to downplay this, stating that there are many other international publishers participating in the book fair and urged visitors to show equal interest in them.

“Why focus only on Pakistan? There are so many publishers from India who have good books in Urdu; there are many publishers from abroad who have good offerings. The focus should be on all the publishers participating at the book fair,” Sharma said.

With 13 lakhs individuals ushered in last year, the organisers have greater expectations this year. With an effort to preach Har Haath Ek Kitaab to the youth, “We have roped in Akashvani and Doordarshan as our broadcast partners. All FM channels will publicise the event. Even autos and billboards will carry the ad.”

To spread awareness among the masses, a theme calendar has been designed for distribution on important aspects like cleanliness and safeguarding animals, birds, water, air and trees. To strengthen Prime minister’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative, publishing courses and Mahila Lekhan Protsahan Yojna have been introduced exclusively for women. “Our traditions respect woman and their opinions. To help them move ahead, we need to create an atmosphere with positive perceptions. Only through their writings can we understand their struggles better and improve the living conditions”, said he.

The annual book fair will see around 800 publishers from across the country in different languages. The event, spread over 30,000 sq m, will have more than 1,500 stalls. However, NBT Director Rita Chowdhary told that the number of stalls have marginally reduced because of the renovation work at Pragati Maidan. “We have received large number of applications for participation this year, but we couldn’t allot stalls to all. The space has been reduced compared to last year because of the construction work. This has certainly affected us,” Chowdhary stated.

This edition will see the European Union as the Guest of Honour. The specially designed EU pavilion will showcase the rich and dynamic European culture and literature. The EU member states will exhibit select publications in English and other European languages and will organise panel discussions, talks, workshops, children’s activities, screening of short films, special photo exhibits as well as cultural and musical performances. International writers like Palle Schmidt, JL Morin, David Feonkinos, Dorothea Nürnberg, Norman Ohler, Evald Flisar, David Machado and Osvalds Zebris will grace the event.

Apart from the European Union, the fair will also see participation from other countries like Egypt, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka, UAE, Britain and others.

The book fair will also have a pavilion dedicated to reading material for children. The pavilion will have a number of activities like seminars, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, workshops on creative writing and illustrations among others will be organised by the National Centre for Children’s Literature, a wing of NBT.

Special performances have been organised for each day which will showcase India’s traditional as well as classical art forms. Sonal Mansingh, first Indian woman dancer to be awarded Padma Bhushan will choreograph a

classical fusion piece on conservation of our natural resources. Malini Awasthi will sing folksongs in Hindi dialects like Awadhi and Budelkhand spreading sacred messages of our ancestors. Baldev Anand Sagar, a broadcaster at All India Radio will present a special show for booklovers and children in Sanskrit. Anupam Mishra, the author of the bestseller Aaj

Bhi Khare hain Taalab was an environmentalist, water conservationist, Gandhian and journalist who recently passed away. As a tribute to his incredible work, a documentary will be screened and a seminar on his life will also be unveiled. From the time of Rigveda, our age old sages have been chanting mantras that have helped trees grow and flourish. With a display panel, the mantras will echo in the open space.

The author’s corner will feature prominent literary faces like Ruskin Bond, Rakshanda Jalil, Jairam Ramesh, Seema Mustafa, Jerry Pinto, Michael Creighton, Paro Anand, Bulbul Sharma, Prerna Bindra, Ranjit Lal, Gillian Wright and many others.

With an aim to impart knowledge and instill the habit of reading among individuals from the age of six to sixty, this event will be an exploratory journey for beginners and a celebration of literature for avid readers.

(Tickets will be available at Pragati Maidan Gate number 1 and 10.) 

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