New Delhi, Feb 13 IANS | 6 months ago

To promote reading habit among children, the annual New Delhi Book Fair, 2014, is focussing on children's literature, organisers said Thursday.


The nine-day event will begin here Feb 15 and will have panel discussions, workshops, interactive sessions and a spacious children's zone to serve younger audience's needs.

One of the highlights will be presence of storyteller and children's much-loved author Ruskin Bond at the event. He will also interact with the audience during one of the sessions.

President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the fair Saturday. It it will close Feb 23.

Spread across nine halls of Pragati Maidan, the fair has around 25 countries participating. Over 2,000 stalls have been erected catering to different genres of books like children's books, e-books, educational books, books on science and technology, and on social sciences and humanities.

The theme of the fair is "Kathasagar: Celebrating Children's Literature" where children, teachers and educational activists will come under one roof to deliberate on topics like "Need for Classroom Libraries", "What Do Children Read?", and "Issues in Contemporary Indian Children's Literature".

"It isn't just a business platform, but we want to create a reading movement in the country. Hence, we have sent circulars to all schools...," National Book Trust (NBT) director M.A. Sikandar said at a press conference here Thursday.

In order to promote Indian writings overseas, the organisers have "Guest of Honour Country" section where a nation gets an exclusive opportunity to conduct talks and discussions and promote its literature.

This year, Poland is the guest country and its 25 delegates comprising authors and illustrators would attend the event.

They will educate visitors about the rich literary heritage of their country by offering readings, organising workshops and exhibiting best Polish illustrations.

"Indian languages are a rich treasure house of knowledge and it has to be taken overseas. We are exploring all possible ways to take Indian writings abroad," said NBT chairman A. Sethumadhavan.

Entry to the fair is Rs.20 for adults and Rs.10 for children.

(Posted on 13-02-2014)