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Kota labourer’s son forms startup to promote young authors

The youth has s organised book launches of over 25 new writers in Kota and other places in the last two years.

jaipur Updated: Feb 25, 2018 21:33 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Kota
Rajasthan news,Kota,Startup
Sagar Aazad of Champ Readers Association in Kota.(AH Zaidi/ HT Photo)

A construction worker’s undergraduate son has launched a startup – a small entrepreneurial venture -- to promote books written by young authors.

Sagar Aazad was 19-year-old when he came to Kota from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh to pursue his graduation; he came with a couple of friends who took coaching for IIT-JEE. Sagar’s father is a construction worker in Jabalpur.

After seven years, Aazad (now 26) is yet to complete his graduation, but has formed the startup -- Champ Readers Association -- two years back to take the works of young writers to readers. He has organised book launches of over 25 new writers in Kota and other places in the last two years.

“When the book of a famous writer is launched, readers have prior information about it, but when a new author writes a book, she/he faces problems in promoting it and taking it to the readers; so I decided to form Champ Readers Association to help new authors in promoting their books,” Aazad said.

While doing graduation through distance learning in Kota, he decided to do a job because of financial trouble in his family, he said. “I joined a book store (Crossword) in Kota in 2011. There I developed interest in books and recommended them to people for reading.”

After working at the bookstore till 2016, he went to attend World Book Fair in Delhi and Jaipur Literature Festival, where some publishers gave him the idea of promoting authors and books through a start-up.

“I organised book promotional events for young writers like Ameesh Tripathi, Ravindra Singh, Durjoy Dutta, Sudeep Nagarkar, Nikita Singh, Savi Sharma, Bhawna Arora and Sumrit Shahi in Kota from 2012 to 2016,” he said.

“Later when I started receiving messages for book launches from other cities, I talked to my friend Amit Chowkse in Jabalpur and formed Champ Readers Association in 2016.”

Champ Readers Association has organised in Kota story-telling sessions, reviews and book launches of many young authors, such as Manish Bhatia, Shweta Shah, Devanshi Sharma, Sidhartha Shirole, Arvind Parashar, Abhishek Malviya and Abhijeet Aviraj.

Pune-based Shweta Shah (30) said, “Sagar Azad is dedicated and promoting books offline and online; he organising events like talk shows in colleges/universities and book launches.”

Deepak Shrivastava, head of the Government Divisional Library in Kota, said, “Sagar is acting as a bridge between young authors and readers. Publishers just publish the book of an author, but Champ Readers Association is taking the book to the readers.”

Aazad has a four-member team and the startup now earns less than Rs 3 lakh annually. “Our aim is to promote readership among youngsters and promote new authors instead of making money. We do not charge anything from the authors; we get fees from publishers for book promotional events,” he said.

“Our organisation has organised book launches in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bhopal, Kanpur and other cities of the country.”

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 21:33 IST