Literature for children is the focus of the New Delhi World Book Fair, which began in New Delhi on Saturday with Poland as the guest country and participants from 25 countries aiming to promote the habit of reading.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the nine-day fair themed on "Kathasagara: Celebrating Children's Literature" and organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) in association with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan.
"We must be uncompromising in rejecting intolerance, prejudice and hatred. Book fairs such as these should remind us that our history and traditions have always celebrated the 'argumentative' Indian and not the 'intolerant' Indian," he said while inaugurating the fair.
He also appealed to parents and teachers to inculcate in children the habit of reading at a young age. He said implanting the habit of reading in children will ensure that it becomes a skill that stands them in good stead throughout their lives.Now, watch what the President had to say:
"Reading and literature for children are the main focus for the publishing industry the world over. We have a special section to commemorate birth centenary of children's writer and illustrator Shankar Pillai," A Sethumadhavan, Chairman, NBT had said on Friday.
Poet-lyricist Gulzar and Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan are supporting the promotions of the Fair, which was previously done by actor Farooq Sheikh who passed away recently.
Read: Gulzar, Irrfan promote World Book Fair
Highlights of the Polish pavilion include the launch of Hindi translations of four books including "Little Chopin", exhibitions about Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski, one on illustrators from Poland and another on Krakow a Unesco city of literature.
"We see this Fair not only as a feast of literature but also as a historic opportunity for Polish and Indian publishing industry to meet," Anna Tryc-Bromley, Director, Polish Institute, Delhi said.
A contingent of 25 people including authors, illustrators and publishers from Poland are participating in the fair.
A special Authors Corner at the Book Fair is expected to see over 300 authors including a few Bollywood personalties like Karisma Kapoor, Dipti Naval and Kunal Kapoor along with well known authors.
"The NBT aims to create reading movement and engage people in the habit of reading," M A Sikander, Director, NBT said.Author Ruskin Bond will be the guest of honour for the Fair, which is expected to see discussions, workshops and interactive sessions with authors and illustrators.
A specially curated exhibition "A Tale of Tales" will talk about children's literature in Indian languages across six categories- "Myths, Legends and Folktales", "Storytelling tradition in India", "Epics and Classics Retold for Children" "Towards Freedom", "Tales for a new nation" and "Tales Today." Apart from Shankar Pillai, the founder of Children's Book Trust, the theme pavillion will also commemorate children's authors Pulak Biswas and Harikrishna Devsare.
(With ANI inputs)