Monday, February 1, 2010

19th New Delhi World Book Fair to highlight Reading on Commonwealth

New Delhi, Jan 28 (UNI) The 19th New Delhi World Book Fair is all set to begin on January 30 with ''Reading our Commonwealth'' as its theme this year.

With nearly 2400 stalls and stands representing nearly 1200 Indian and foreign publishers and exhibitors, the biennial fair is organised by the National Book Trust here and this year, they will be focussing on Commonwealth Games ahead of the national capital holding the same in October.

''It is an attempt to find a connection between the world of books with that of sports through the theme this year -- Reading our Commonwealth: An International Rights Exhibition of Books on Sports,'' Chairman of National Book Trust Bipan Chandra told mediapersons here.

Nearly 700 titles published by around 75 publishers across the country on different genres of sports will be exhibited at the theme pavilion, he said.

''A special International Rights Catalogue, with bibliographic and copyright details of more than 550 titles, based on this exhibition has also been brought out and it will be released on the inuagural day,'' Mr Chandra informed.

The fair, to continue till February 7 at Pragati Maidan, will be inaugurated by Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. Eminent historian Prof Irfan Habib will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest while Dean of School of Humanities and Education, North Eastern Hill University Prof Temsula Ao will
preside over the function.

Mr Chandra expressed concern over the fact that this book fair was the only one to be held once in two years. ''We have requested the HRD Ministry several times that it should be held every year. For that, it is necessary for them to increase our minimum grant to at least Rs 18-19 crore,'' he said.

Spread over an area of 42,000 sq meters, the fair will have different stalls for both Hindi and English language publishers and distributors, Science and Technology books publishers, foreign participants, educational book publishers, Social Sciences and Humanities books publishers, Indian regional language publishers, children's books, and others.

Speaking more about the theme pavilion, NBT Director Nuzhat Hassan said the theme pavilion would house children and youth pavilions also and various interactive sessions would be organised with some eminent sports personalities like star athlete Milkha Singh, badminton topshot P Gopichand, to name a few.

Some classical documentaries on sports events and adventure sports produced by the Films Division will be screened at the pavilion, along with many workshops, quiz competitions and storytelling sessions, she added.

''Altogether 33 programmes have been scheduled by various agencies including NGOs and schools,'' she noted.

Ms Hassan further said a special exhibit of books on and by Jawaharlal Nehru to showcase his contribution to the world of books has also been organised at the fair.

The fair will also have three special areas where people are invited to hold any kind of a programme related to books of their choice.

Referring to Pakistan as one of the participants, she said many private publishers from the neighbouring country would be exhibiting in the fair. ''However, the country's national book body, National Book Foundation, denied yesterday,'' she said.

On being asked about the reason, she said, ''We do not know.''

About the entry tickets to the fair, she said students in school uniform accompanied by their teachers would be given a free entry to the fair. Else, the ticket remains Rs 20 per adult and Rs 10 per child for others.



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