27th World Book Fair to begin in Delhi from January 5

27th World Book Fair to begin in Delhi from January 5

Prakash Javadekar

The 27th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair is set to begin here from January 5 with the theme 'readers with special needs.'

This is to promote the idea of inclusive learning through a series of exhibitions of audio, silent, tactile and Braille books.

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar will inaugurate the annual mega event, jointly organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) and the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) here at Pragati Maidan.

Sharjah has been invited as the guest country this year.

“This year, the World Book Fair will focus on the reading needs of specially-abled people. They are usually looked at with pity, but we want people to realise they deserve as much respect as anyone else. We want them to be known for their contribution in making India a great country," NBT chairman Baldeo Bhai Sharma told reporters on Thursday.

The theme pavilion will exhibit over 500 books for specially-abled readers including integrated print-braille. Discussions and conversations with authors, paralympians and artistes will also be organised during the fair.

Arjuna awardee Rajinder Singh, folk singer Bant Singh Jhabbar, Olympian Manpreet Kaur, and playwright Atul Satya Kaushik are among the eminent people who are expected to participate in the book fair, which will come to a close on January 13.

"Special arrangements including wheel chairs, go-carts, and sign interpreters will be made available for the visitors with special needs and entry tickets will be free of cost for them," Sharma said.

The Sharjah pavilion will showcase the "rich and dynamic” culture and literature of the UAE.

Hindi translation of books in Arabic languages will introduce Indian readers to the Emirate's “rich literary heritage," Khoula Al Mujaini, director of fairs and festivals at Sharjah Book Authority, said.

"The cultural scene in Sharjah and the UAE are evolving at a great pace, the fruits of some of which will be showcased by 10 Emirati authors, and many more literary experts over a course of 15 intellectual discussions about our growing efforts in integrating global publishing experiences," she said.

Hindi and English editions of 'Bibi Fatima and Her Sons,' authored by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah, will also be released during the inaugural event.

To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, an exhibition of books on and by Gandhi and his associates will be displayed at the fair. More than 600 publishers from across the country will display books at over 1,350 stalls.

Over 20 countries including, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, and the US will showcase their books in the foreign pavilion.