Organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), and supported by Federation of Indian publishers (FIP), the 24th Delhi Book Fair was held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from August 25, 2018 to September 2, 2018. Nearly 120 exhibitors displayed their products and services at the event in Hall No. 7 – ABC, D, E, and FGH. However, since Pragati Maidan is under redevelopment as of now, the fair saw a lesser number of participating exhibitors than previous years. The ongoing development work inconvenienced many guests visiting the fair, yet the excitement and love for books was there for all to see, as nearly 10,000 guests were visiting every day. Not only was the event free for all visitors, ITPO and FIP organised free shuttle services from the Entry Gates to the Exhibition Halls.
The occasion was inaugurated by Dr. Satya Pal Singh – Honourable Minister of State for Human Resources Development (Higher Education), Govt. Of India. Different authority figures of ITPO and office bearers of FIP were also present at the time.
A number of other events were organised during the fair to add more intrigue and excitement to proceedings. Amongst these, the most talked about were debate competitions, cultural programmes by colleges, book release functions by various Individual publishers, literary activities by the Authors Guild of India, a seminar on publishing by IGNOU, and drawing competitions between various primary schools.
I for one surely appreciated the drawing competition, in which students from classes 4, 5 and 6 of different MCD and Delhi Govt. schools demonstrated their brilliant abilities and inventiveness. While all three podium finishers were awarded prize moneys, trophies and certificates, ten students from each grade were given consolation prizes in the form of medals and certificates. And that’s not all. Every student who took an interest in the competition was given two books and a stationery set.
2019 will witness the 25th ‘silver jubilee’ edition of the Delhi Book Fair. Slated to be held from August 28 – September 1, the theme for this mega event is ‘Cultural and Educational Diversity in the North Eastern States of India’.
For the 1st time ever, the event would be organised for a period of 5 days – a departure from the 9-day format that it has had for 24 successful editions. I, being the joint secretary of FIP, swear to make it more meaningful, enjoyable and memorable for all book lovers.