The much-awaited New Delhi World Book Fair 2017 will start off on 7th January at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India. This event exhibits a variety of books, publications & journals. The Fair has been organised every year for the past 44 years by the National Book Trust, India, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, in an effort to promote books and the culture of reading in the country.
India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), under the Ministry of Commerce, is the co-organiser of the Fair. The fair attracts participation from major international publishing houses. It is an arena where participants get the unique opportunity of doing business with the growing book industry. It is also an ideal venue for promoting titles, co-publication arrangements and trade. Many literary and publishing conferences and programmes are organised during the Fair.
The fair is now a major calendar event in the publishing world and this year will be inaugurated by Mahendra Nath Pandey, MoS for Human Resource Development (Higher Education).
Eminent Odia writer and Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Ray will be the Guest of Honour and Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to India will be the Special Guest on the occasion. Japan will be the Guest of Honour Country this time. China was the Guest of Honour Country in the New Delhi World Book Fair 2016 wherein it participated with 250 publishers.
According to the organisers, the nine-day event will promote the rich Indian heritage through music and dance performances and is expected to host 1,500 participants from across India, including over 50 foreign exhibitors.
“More than 2,500 stalls will showcase books and reading material in Hindi, English and other Indian languages for all age groups, on a wide range of subjects and genre,” the statement added.
The highlight of the fair will be on January 10 when publishers from India, Germany and France will talk about markets, trends and collaborations in a session and will showcase their book market scenario at the event.
“The Embassy of France, in association with its cultural wing, Institut Français India has created the Publication Assistance Programme, PAP Tagore, whose aim is to support publication projects from French to all Indian languages,” said Bertrand de Hartingh, Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs of Institut Français.
The New Delhi World Book Fair 2017 will be based on the theme ‘Manushi – Books Written on Women and by Women’. It will aim to show and project the diversity of writings by women writers over the 9 days of its duration.
“There has been the tradition of women writers as well as scholars since ancient times in India. Many of them have set examples of morality through their literary works and have played a vital role in promoting modern thoughts. Therefore, we wanted to provide a special space to them at the fair”, Baldeo Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust(NBT) said.
While books on different genres will form the main ingredients of this exhibition, posters and panels of some of the eminent representative women scholars of ancient and medieval India, and women pioneers of modern Indian literature, will be on display.
The fair will also celebrate 60 years of National Book Trust (NBT) at the Special Pavillion, that will feature an exhibit titled, “This is No Looking Back!” Based on NBT’s journey.
‘Archival Photos/ Materials’ will offer a glimpse of noted personalities including Presidents and Prime Ministers of India, writers, readers, publishers, and artists who have patronised NBT’s mandate of creating a culture of reading.
There will also be a display of NBT’s bestsellers, besides an ‘Illustrator’s Wall’ showcasing works of eminent Indian Illustrators like Mickey Patel, Pulak Biswas, Mario, Miranda, Ravi Paranjpe, Jagdish Joshi among others.
Sharma requested India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) to make entry to book fair free of cost from next year, in order to promote and inculcate an interest for reading among visitors.
“There should be availability of books at cheaper rates so that more people read books. We have also requested ITPO to make the World Book Fair ticket-free from the next year,” Sharma said.
The Children’s Pavilion will host seminars, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, workshops on creative writing and illustrations among others. Renowned writers like Ramendra Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Azhar Hajini will also be interacting with children.
The international segment will see participation from more than 20 countries including, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Nepal, Iran, Poland, Japan, Spain, Sri Lanka among others.
Events from the Foreign Pavillion will include photography exhibitions on the Indian Diaspora in the EU, the Chinese New Year, and screening of films based on William Shakespeare’s plays, commemorating the 400th death anniversary of the Bard.
While previous editions saw significant participation from Pakistan, this edition will have only one distributor from the country.
International agencies like World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will also participate in the fair.
The fair will come to a close on January 15.