Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for Education, Government of India inaugurated New Delhi World Book Fair 2023 today. H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, Mr Vincent Montagne, President, Syndicat National de LEdition, France, Ms Annie Ernaux, Nobel Laureate, France, Shri Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, ITPO, Smt. Saumya Gupta, Joint Secretary (NIT) and NBT-India and Shri Yuvraj Malik, Director NBT-India also graced the dais.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Minister Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said that the New Delhi World Book Fair is one of the world’s biggest stages for the harmonious amalgamation of literature and culture and it facilitates an exchange of ideas. With France as the Guest of Honour Country, the New Delhi World Book Fair 2023 will be promoting the spread of knowledge through reading not just in India but abroad in the coming 9 days.
The Hon’ble Minister launched books published under the prestigious PM-YUVA scheme and various titles under NBT-India’s India@75 series commemorating the 75 years of India’s independence on the occasion. A Stamp to commemorate the 50-year journey of New Delhi World Book Fair 2023 was also launched to mark the grand event. The Hon’ble Minister also inaugurated the Theme Pavilion in Hall No. 5 after a guided walk-through the G-20 and Foreign Pavilions as well as the Children’s and Language Publishers Pavilion.
In his address Shri Yuvraj Malik welcomed all the guests and stakeholders to the Fair. He said the Fair will be a complete immersive experience and is the perfect opportunity for all publishers and book lovers. He invited readers from all walks of life to visit the fair in large numbers to partake in the beautiful world of books. He also added that the NDWBF is a platform to educate, empower and enable the citizens of the country.
H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain in his address said that one thing we appreciate about India is her diversity. It is owing to this diversity that French books have been published in various Indian languages. The exchange of ideas with different professional communities at the fair would lead to new avenues for collaborations between the two countries, he added.
Shri Pradeep Singh Kharola extended his welcome to all the guests and invited everyone to visit the fair to provide support in making the grand event a big success. Mr Vincent Montagne in his address said that book fairs are a collective adventure that nourish our thought processes. India’s presence at the Paris Book Festival in April 2022 as the Guest of Honour Country allowed the French to discover a variety of themes, stories, sacred texts, poetry and theater. Ms Annie Ernaux said that India is a land of preserved artistic richness and the literature celebrated here continues to enlighten and change lives across the world.
Coinciding with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava celebrations and the Year of India’s G20 Presidency, the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) is celebrating its 50 years’ journey this year. The 9-day long book fair will see a large number of Indian and foreign publishers put up a huge collection of books at the new International Exhibition Centre in the centrally located Pragati Maidan in all its glory.
Today’s session at the Theme Pavilion was ‘Prime Talk With Ashwin Sanghi was attended by a large number of people where he shared secrets to his literary success with the audience. He also interacted with the PM-YUVA delegates. In the next session Shri Yadvinder Singh Sandhu, Grandson of Bhagat Singh recited the last letter written by Bhagat Singh which was addressed to his sister Amar Kaur. He also launched ‘Bhagat Singh’s Jail Diary – a compilation of the handwritten letters of Shaheed Bhagat Singh which he wrote during his time in jail. The original manuscript expressed as “Kranti Granth” will also be presented during the NBT exhibition as Mr Yadvinder Singh Sandhu believes that every Indian should be able to see and feel that.
The Children’s Pavilion packed with a variety of sessions was a massive hit among the school children. The day started with a lecture-performance of A Nestful of Light by poet Khartika Nair and French illustrator Joelle Jollivet. This was followed by a session by a children’s writer and poet from Russia – Ms Anastasia Orlova – on why it is important to read to the little ones. In the next session, Jaya Mehta, author of the book Nritya Katha and an Odissi dancer & an international performer gave a glimpse of the various dance styles of India followed by a dance performance by a group of children. In an interactive session on vexillology – the study of flags – Mohit Gupta interacted with school students and provided interesting facts on flags of different nations. In the evening, Jayshree Sethi enthralled the children with an interesting session of storytelling.
The Pragati Maidan fair grounds were live with booklovers browsing through books of their choice, attending lively literary and interactive sessions and enjoying cultural performances.