New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) The 28th edition of the nine-day New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) opened at Pragati Maidan here on Saturday, and saw Lt. Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi launch a book written on her.
Registering a sizeable footfall on the first day, the fair saw the launch of ‘Where Kindness Spoke’, a book on Bedi’s work in Puducherry and her leadership style, written by author Shivani Arora.
Answering a question on the North-South linguistic divide in India, she said a way to national integration is through teaching one region’s languages in the other, till the primary school level.
“You can opt for German, French, Spanish, why not Telugu?” she said at the event.
The 2020 Fair was inaugurated by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokkhriyal ‘Nishank’, who said it will soon be the world’s biggest book fair.
“We are in the midst of ocean of books,” he said, adding that this ‘Mahakumbh’ of books is filled with thoughts, the thoughts which give power to humanity.
This year, the book fair is themed Gandhi: Writer’s Writer.
“We are celebrating 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi, in times when we need him the most. The world today is facing several challenges including terrorism.
“The world, the nation, the society and all individuals, need Gandhi because of his vision and his philosophy of peace and non-violence,” the Minister said.
He also urged publishers to promote books and the habit of reading as people are moving away from books, and said that a book fair like the NDWBF ensures that books and reading is preserved and increases.
Organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) and the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the fair is featuring over 600 exhibitors in different languages including Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Maithili, Malayalam, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu, who are exhibiting books in over 1300 stalls.
Along with business sessions, several literary and cultural activities including seminars, book release functions and panel discussions, are part of the fair. It sees participation from about 20 foreign countries including China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Nepal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka, the UAE, the UK, and the US.
The NDWBF features an author’s corner, children’s pavilion, theme pavilion, special photo exhibitions and activities for book lovers.
It is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and with free entry for school children in uniform, senior citizens and differently-abled.
Parking is available at Bhairon Marg parking lot. Entry tickets are available at Gate 1 and 10 of Pragati Maidan, NBT said. Wheelchair facility is available from these gates as well.