“All for knowledge and knowledge for all.”
The 22nd edition of ‘New Delhi World Book Fair 2014’ was inaugurated by honourable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 15th Feb. 2014, to the excitement of all the avid book readers. “We have been waiting for the fair’s inauguration from last two months and had plans to visit it on first day we all friends could get together” said Somya Rastogi, a student, visibly jumping with excitement.
A special pavilion ‘Books from Poland‘ by Poland, the guest of honour Country, whose city ‘Krakaw’ has been declared city of literature by UNESCO, attracts huge crowd with its very big, beautiful and picturesque boards. When a child asked Joanna, who was handling the pavilion, whether she understands hindi, she candidly answered ‘ thoda thoda’ and went on to explain further about the pavilion in flawless hindi. The pavilion reflects the vibrant diversity of Poland through talks and discussions on Polish book market, literary genres, fiction, and best of Polish illustrations for children.
This year’s central theme ‘Kathasagar: Celebrating Children’s Literature’ aims to provide young readers with enticing, relevant book, which will be a friend and companion to him. Many workshops and interactive sessions like ‘Theatre for Young Audience, Storytelling and Drama session, Interaction with Authors and Illustrators, enactment of Plays and screening of Films are being held here. There is also a Wall for Poster Comics, by NGO ‘Save the Children’, inviting you to be a part of the generation that ends preventable child deaths because ‘No matter where or to whom they are born, every child has an equal right to survive’. A special hall known as ‘Kidz Bubble’ gives parents the relief of engaging their children in different activities and competitions like ‘story telling, singing, thread painting, collage making, mosaic painting, waste recycling crafts, paper mache, leaf craft, paper folding, finger puppets etc.’
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Here, you can also meet Durga Bai, who is one of the most exciting contemporary artist working within the Gond Tradition of Tribal Art from central India. Gond paintings basically shows the scenes from everyday life and work, animals and birds and the way human beings live in nature. Some of her best works portrays the life of women, from all kinds of familiar and unusual situations, from cutting grass and climbing trees, to playing football and swimming in waterfalls.
Purple Turtle, licensed by Aadarsh Pvt Ltd, is the cutest turtle offering innovative and interesting Purple Turtle books to help parents and teachers create an educational environment that fosters creativity, independence of thought and a positive self-image. The general stall in hall 11 saw the largest number of buyers, where all the famous books were available between the ranges of Rs 50-100. ‘They have both Cecelia Ahern and Nicholas Sparks’ clapped Devika Seth, a teacher at mother’s pride school before she pushed her way in.
The fair also has many others attractions like ‘Desaj: Festival of Tribal and Folk Performing Arts of India’ (15th-18th Feb) where spectators enjoy colourful tribal dances, songs and music from nearly all the states and tribes of India. It offers joy and a shared sense of humanity to all the visitors. Other attractions include ‘Author’s Corner: Reflections’ in hall 10-11, where authors from different publications talk about their books. Actor Irfan Khan worked as people and media magnet, drawing huge crowd during his talk on ‘Books and Bollywood‘, one among many other Seminars and Discussions scheduled for the day.
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Amidst all the book fanatics who were flocking the fair in large numbers, we also saw a boy dragging his friends to search for the classic novel ‘Gone with the Winds’, which his girlfriend claimed to be very famous.Moreover, where the printed books were exhibited from the country and the world, new technology was not far behind. Amazon has a huge pavilion highlighting the ‘Joy of Kindle reading’, welcoming the tired readers to sit on comfortable sofas and look at their different gadgets.Recharge group of companies who are transiting from digital media to print media, have introduced ‘PARI – the storyteller’, a sensible and morally strong 5-year-old girl who loves to play, dance, sings and narrate stories. Both her parents are working and she spends most of her time with her grandparents or maid. Pari fulfils the role of a morally strong friend to children belonging to nuclear family like her, with strong traits of imagination and a eagerness to learn.
‘New Delhi World Book Fair’ is a rich and interesting combination of programmes for children and adults alike. It holds something to love for everyone, inviting all, to be a part of one of the largest community of book lovers in the world and the best platform to whet your appetite for reading.
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