New Delhi, Feb 5 (): The much-expected World Book Fair 2013 began in New Delhi on Monday, February 4. The fair was inaugurated by the Minister of State for HRD, Dr. Shashi Tharoor. Karan Singh, MP president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and French ambassador Francois Richier were present at the inaugural ceremony.
The week-long fair from February 4 -10 is held at the Pragati Maidan in the capital across 45,000 square metres of pleasingly decorated display space to exhibit and trade books.
The fair will be open for general public from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 4 and 5 and from 11 am to 8 pm on other days. An official press release said the entry fee is Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for school children.
The fair has nearly 1,100 exhibitors from 28 countries exhibiting books in about 2,100 stalls. The fair is set to showcase foreign publishers from countries like the US, Nepal, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Singapore, Sri Lanka and South Korea. The fair is organised by the National Book Trust (NBT), an apex body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development and co-organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation.
The fair began at Windsor Place here in 1972 with 200 participants and was held every alternate year. This bi-annual book carnival usually has a theme and the theme of the fair this year is “Indigenous Voices: Mapping India’s Folk and Tribal Literature”. And the guest of honour this time is given to France.
Related to the theme, the fair will include special exhibition of books on various aspects of folk and tribal literature, culture, exhibits of art and crafts, workshops and panel discussions.
The main aim of the organisers is to captivate children. M.A. Sikandar, director of National Book Trust said that they hoped to improve the reading habits of youngsters. To keep them interested and involved, the organisers have made a children and youth pavilion.
There are discussions and special sections for youth and children. Many NGOs, colleges, schools and government institutions will participate and organize various activities for youngsters and children to promote book culture among them.
A special inclusion for e-books has also been made where e-book developers, publishers, and content providers would be displaying their e-books.
For the first time, NBT has set up four Author Corners in the fair where more than 75 eminent authors in English, Hindi and other Indian languages will hold reading sessions and interact with readers.