by Manash Pratim Gohain)
There is bonanza for children in this year's New Delhi World Book Fair, starting from February 15, as the theme is children's literature. The guest of honour country is Poland, which will be participating for the first time. In the nine-day fair, 300 authors will interact with visitors at four 'Authors' Corner'. There will be 25 foreign participants.
The book fair, which became an annual event last year, will have a special focus and theme pavilion on children's literature. "We are showcasing the rich literature in Indian languages for children. The theme pavilion will present 650 books in different languages from India-based authors. Authors like Ruskin Bond will interact with children during this fair. We are doing extra bit to attract students as well by organizing free trips for students of government schools," said director of National Book Trust, M A Sikandar.
There will be a special zone - Kidz Bubble -for tiny tots. A small enclave called Hangar outside hall number 7 will have activities like painting, storytelling, mask-making, life-size cartoon characters and much more. The fair, which was started in 1972 as a biennial event, is being organized by National Book Trust, under the aegis of human resource ministry.
The four Authors' Corners will be located in hall numbers 10, 11 and 12. The hall number 18 will host the "lekhak manch", while the hall number 8 will host "sahitya manch". Many seminars and workshops will be conducted. "A delegation of authors, writers, publishers and scholars from Poland will participate. The vibrant cultural heritage of Poland with its music, food as well as literature will be in focus," added Sikandar.
The fair will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday at 11.30am. The fair will remain open for visitors from 11am to 8pm. There will be a dedicated pavilion where many school, colleges, NGOs and government institutions have been roped in to do many children and youth activities to promote book culture amongst them.