1.5 lakh attendees at Book Fair at New Delhi

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Saturday witnessed jam-packed roads leading to Pragati Maidan with 1.5 lakh attendees and never-ending queues of excited families at New Delhi World Book Fair.  A grand congregation of literary luminaries, educators, and bibliophiles, celebrated their love for books and reading with something for every individual at the Fair extending from its diverse range of books, international publications, and vibrant cultural events. The theme of Multilingual India echoed across the fairgrounds, against the backdrop of vibrant pavilions, thought-provoking discussions, illustrations, cultural shows and activities.  In order to facilitate the crowd, National Book Trust India has organised additional shuttle service on 17-18 Feb 2024 to Gate No. 4, Pragati Maidan from the following stops:

– Bhairon Mandir Parking

– National Stadium, Gate No. 4

– National Gallery of Modern Art (Near Bus Stop- Big Banyan Tree)

Children’s Pavilion (Hall 3), has emerged as a captivating haven for young readers with sessions on Storytelling, Illustrations, Calligraphy, Arts, Drama and sessions on space exploration. Specialized events catering to children with special needs underscored the fair’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and accessibility in literature, aligning with the ‘Books-for-All’ campaign. The “Books for All” initiative by National Book Trust India, in partnership with the Department of Empowerment for Persons with Disabilities, offers free Braille books upon presentation of UDID cards at Hall 1, along with a display of audio and eBooks. Stories from Assam, were highlight of the day at the Children Pavilion where, Smt.  Vasundhara Bahuguna narrated three insightful stories based on mythological characters from Assam’s Majuli island were an attempt to familiarise curious minds about a lesser-known culture in India.

Multilingual India finds its true ambassadors in the women of the country at the Festival of Festivals (FoF). On Saturday,  The Great Indian Book Tours hosted a session on ‘Poetry Through the Lens of India’. at the FoF platform.  The panelists discussed various aspects of poetry, including social commentary, modern Indian poetry, and women-centric poetry.

The “unique ability to dig deeper into our very own being, and to bring out raw, is poetry.”- claimed Ms. Baruah, one of the prolific panelists. Other panelists included authors, Ms. Prerna Sinha, Ms. Parishmita Baruah, and Dr. Ritu Kamra Kumar, moderated by author, Komal Gupta.

Another partner of FoF, Bharat Literature Festival traversed into terrain of India’s foreign policy through their captivating session on ‘Diplomacy in Indo-Pak Relations. The discussion featured well known TV Anchor, Ms. Aditi Tyagi along with Shri Ajay Bisaria, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan. Shri Bisaria sheds light on his book, ‘Anger Management: The Toubled Diplomatic Relationship Between India and Pakistan’ and identifies anger as a central tenet in India-Pak relations.

The third sessions under the FoF initiative was hosted by  Cine Durbar on ‘Food, Friendship, and Communion: A Conversation with Chefs and Cookbook authors’. The panelists shared their journey as chefs to authors drawing focus to the culture of food in binding people together.

At the International Events Corner, the King Abdulaziz Foundation organized sessions on  ‘Arabic Heritage in India Program’ ‘Contributions  of Indian Scholars to the Arabic Heritage’ and ‘Contributions of Indian Foundations in Arabic Heritage’ were outlined.  The sessions highlighted

far-reaching impact of India’s knowledge systems and institutions within the larger global context. In another session Nepali Publishing House White Lotus Books organized the launch of Pratik’s Noir Issue and Nepali Translation of Evald Flisar’s Novel Mero Bubaka Sapna followed by a poetry reading. Spain’s Instituto Cervantes also organized a session on ‘Poetry in Motion’ by Julián Molina Guillén.

Book fair hosted book release of  ‘The Decade of Development’ by the authors, Mr. Sankalp Shukla and Mr. K. Raghav Bhandari,.  ‘Jeevan, Jigyasa aur Shastra’ authored by Dr. S C Mishra. In another session, ‘V. Shantaram’ and ‘Monsoon’ published by NBT India was also released followed by a lecture by Mohan Shetya, a revered historian.

At the amphitheatre, Bijay Sahoo organized Gutipo and Odissi.Against the night sky, Jasu Khan and Group took over the Amphitheatre and dazzled the spirited audience with Rajasthani Folk Music.

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