Time Digital Report: The prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the country’s biggest book fair on Wednesday, joining its inaugural ceremony in person on the Bangla Academy premise after a gap of three years persuades by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fair is being held on the Academy premises and its adjoining Suhrawardy Udaan with the theme “Poro Boi, Goro Desh-Bangabandhu’r Bangladesh” (Read Books, Build the Country as Bangladesh dreamt by Bangabandhu).
The book fair will remain open for visitors from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm on working days and 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on holidays.
However, the visitors can enter the fair on International Mother Language Day at 8:00 am, and all entrance points will be closed after 8.30 pm every day, reports our correspondent.
A total of 901 stalls have been allocated to 601 organizations for this year’s book fair, compared to 776 stalls to 534 organizations last year.
Of these, 165 stalls have been allocated to 112 organizations on the Bangla Academy premises, and the rest 736 stalls to 489 organizations at Suhrawardy Udyan.
Moreover, a total of 38 pavilions have been allocated this year.
The main gate of the Suhrawardy Udaan is the main entrance, which is located opposite the Bangla Academy. Also, there are three more entrances and exits nearby the Teacher-Student Center (TSC), Doyel Chattar and the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB).
The entire fair zone will be closely monitored by more than 300 CCTV cameras.
At the opening ceremony, the prime minister distributed the Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar-2022 (Bangla Academy Literary Award 2022) among its recipients.
She handed over the award to the 15 recipients under 11 categories. Each awardee received a cheque for the award money, a crest and a certificate.
Faruk Mahmud and Tarik Sujat received the award for poetry, while Taposh Mojumdar and Parvez Hossain for novels, Masuduzzaman for essays/research and Alam Khorshed for translation.
The other awardees are Milan Kanti Dey and Farid Ahmad Dulal for drama, Druba Esh for juvenile literature, Muhammad Shamsul Haque for research on the Liberation War, Subhash Singha Roy for research on Bangabandhu, Mokarram Hossain for science/science fiction/environmental science, Iktiar Chowdhury for biography and travelogue and Professor Abdul Khaleq and Professor Mohammad Abdul Jalil for folklore.
The Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar is given in recognition of creativity and talents in advancement and overall contributions to the field of Bengali language and literature.
The book fair is arranged every year in February commemorating the sacrifices of language heroes who laid down their lives on February 21, 1952, for establishing Bangla as an official language of then-Pakistan along with Urdu. Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan until its liberation in 1971.
But the traditional dates of the fair got shifted for the past two editions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The traditional Amar Ekushey Book Fair started informally in 1972 on the Bangla Academy premises and then in 1978 the academy officially took the responsibility of arranging the fair every year.
Bangabandhu’s youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana was present in the inaugural ceremony presided over by Bangla Academy President novelist Selina Hossain.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur, Bangla Academy Director General poet Nurul Huda and president of Bangladesh Book Publishers and Sellers Association Arif Hossain Choton spoke on the occasion.