New Delhi World Book Fair 2020 commemorating Mahatma Gandhi as a writer

NDWBF which began on Jan 4 will continue till Jan 12, has participation from 600 publishers. Seminars, special photo exhibitions, children books and Braille Books are some added attractions
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ at the Inauguration of the New Delhi World Book Fair, at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi on January 04, 2020.

The 28th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair 2020 (NDWBF) at PragatiMaidan in New Delhi is this year themed as ‘Gandhi: The Writers’ Writer’ to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of his. Mahatma Gandhi was a prolific writer, editor, publisher, Printer and Institution Builder. He wrote extensively in Gujarati, Hindi and English languages. His writings not only reflected his philosophy of non-violence and peace but also gave an insight into the socio-economic and political scenario of the country. The theme is an attempt to give booklovers a glimpse of how Mahatma Gandhi, a great strategic communicator, inspired and influenced generations of writers and how the writers understood and emulated Gandhiji in words.

In the specially designed pavilion (inspired by Sabarmati Ashram), with hand-spun materials as wall cladding; there will be an exclusive exhibition of 500 books of 100 publishers on and by Gandhi in different Indian languages, as well as 30 panel discussions, book launches and performances related to the theme. The archival materials on display at the Theme pavilion are from Navjivan Trust, Ahmedabad and National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi.

 Earlier while inaugurating the fair on Jan 4, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that we are in the midst of ocean of books and this Mahakumbh of books is filled with thoughts, the thoughts which give power to humanity. “The world today is facing several challenges including terrorism. He added that the world, the nation, the society and all individuals, need Gandhi because of his vision and his philosophy of peace and non-violence,” he said. The Minister also urged publishers to promote books and the habit of reading as people are moving away from books, and a book fair like the NDWBF ensures that books and reading is preserved and increases.

Prof. Girishwar Misra, eminent Gandhian scholar, spoke in detail about the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He said that Mahatma Gandhi was the Man of Century. He showed the path of truth, peace and non-violence because of his wide reading of books including Gita, Quran and Bible.

Some attractions of the Fair:

Authors’ Corners / Seminar Hall

Some of the well-known writers both popular and critically acclaimed like Anirban Ganguly, Bhawana Sommaya, Kevin Missal, Madhulika Dutta, Manoshi Sinha Rawal, Sudha Murthy, Sumit Dutt Majumdar, among others will engage in lively banters with the visitors at Authors’ Corners. There will be three special Corners which include International Events Corner (Hall No. 7A), Reflections (Hall No. 8) and LekhakManch (Hall No. 12).

During the Fair, various literary events, discussions, conversation with authors & scholars, book release functions, children’s activities, film screenings on the theme of the fair, cultural programmes, etc. will be organized. Some of the well-known speakers who will participate in these programmes include, Dr Rakesh Pande, Dr Varsha Das, Shri Aflatoon, Shri AvinashDudhe, Shri Firoz Khan, Ms Fouzia Khan, Shri Suresh Sharma, Shri Rajeev Shrivastava, Shri Rajeev Raj, Ms ShashiprabhaTewari, Prof.Akhtarul Wasey, Prof. Rizwan Kaisar, Dr M William Bhaskaran, Dr T Ravichandran, Dr Sachidanand Joshi, former Justice Narendra Chapalgaonkar, Ms Deena Patel, Shri Annamalai, Dr Sumer Singh Siddhu, Dr Khushwant Singh Bargadi, among others.

Braille Books: National Book Trust, India in collaboration with the All India Confederation of Blind (AICB) has jointly published a set of books in Braille for visually impaired readers. So far, over 250 books in Hindi, English and other Indian languages have been published. To take the project further, the NBT and AICB have signed an MOU, under which more titles shall be published in Braille in different Indian languages as part of NBT’s annual publishing programme. A catalogue of these books in Braille as well bilingual catalogue in English and Hindi have also been brought out by NBT. A special exhibit of these books will also be put up.

Children’s Pavilion: At the Children’s Pavilion (Hangar near Hall No. 7H), a number of activities like seminars, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, workshops on creative writing and illustrations among others will be organized to promote books and reading amongst children and young adults. The pavilion has been decorated with specially designed panels on tactile and silent books. A special career counselling session for persons with special needs will also be organized. A number of schools and NGOs will also participate in these activities.

Foreign Countries: Over 15 countries including Abu Dhabi, China, Denmark, Egypt, France,Germany, Iran, Nepal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah, Spain, Sri Lanka, UK, USA, are participating in the Foreign Pavilion at the Fair. They are housed at the Foreign Pavilion, Hall No. 7ABC.

B2B Activities: New Delhi World Book Fair, also provides a platform for B2B activities for publishers from India and abroad. These B2B sessions include CEO Speak, a Publishers Forum to be organized in association with FICCI on 5 January 2020; the New Delhi Rights Table, a 2-day event to be held on 6 & 7 January 2020. Over 40 publishers from India and abroad will participate in the New Delhi Rights Table. In addition, a National Conclave on Readership and Book Promotion will be organised on 8th January 2020, and a Business Meet with Trade Partners on 9 January 2020.

Special Photo Exhibitions

1. India as Guest of Honour: NBT has been playing a significant role in promoting Indian books and authors abroad. NBT regularly participates in major international book fairs like Sharjah International Book Fair, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, etc. Recently, India was the Guest of Honour country at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair held in April 2019, and at Guadalajara International Book Fair, Mexico in November 2019. India will also be Guest of Honour country at forthcoming Paris Book Fair in March 2020. NBT being the nodal agency, coordinates the Guest of Honour Country Presentations at International Book Fairs. A special photo exhibition on the GoH Presentations – 2019-2020 will be put up at Hall 7A. In addition, the NBT titles translated and published in Arabic and Spanish as part of the Guest Country Presentations, will also be put on display.

2. Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat: A special photo exhibition on NBT’s contribution in promoting books in schools and libraries under Govt. of India’s programme for the school education will also be put up outside Hall No.7.

Publishers: This year, more than 600 publishers from India and Abroad are participating at the book fair. The Indian publishers exhibiting books in different languages include Bangla, English,Gujarati, Hindi, Maithili, Malayalam, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu across more than 1300 stalls at the Fair.