• Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:45 am

Book Fair: Children’s zone desolate in Covid-19 situation

  • Published at 08:03 pm March 27th, 2021
book-fair-feature
The Shishu Chattar (children’s zone) at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, which usually attracts a large crowd of children, has remained a desolate place this year even during the weekend, due to the Covid-19 situation. The photo was taken on Saturday, March 27, 2021 Mehedi Hasan

Publishers fear they will not be able to recoup investment, let alone make profit

Weekends during the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair are usually festive days for children, especially due to the program of Shishu Prohor (special hours dedicated to children).

But not this year. The program was cancelled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the last few years, the book fair had been a great source of entertainment for children as they visited the Shishu Chattar (children’s zone) in droves on the east side of Suhrawardy Udyan.

Even last year, children visiting the book fair had been welcomed by popular characters of Sisimpur (the Bangladeshi version of the popular children's television show Sesame Street) at the Shishu Chattar. One could clearly see the excitement in their eyes as they saw Halum, Iqri and Tuktuki perform skits during Shishu Prohor.

This year, the Shishu Chattar has remained empty. There were hardly any visitors, resulting in poor sales.

Publishers worried

Nusrat Jahan Nowshin, sales representative of Laboni Prokashoni, said not a single book had been sold until around 12noon on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Saiful Islam, a representative of Dhaka Comics, said: “Our comics are loved by children … They throng our stall to buy our books. But this year they have not started coming yet.”

Imran Hossain of Sisimpur Publication said: “Kids like to buy books, but the main attraction was our Shishu Prohor program.”

The Shishu Chattar (children’s zone) at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, which usually attracts a large crowd of children, has remained a desolate place this year even during the weekend, due to the Covid-19 situation. The photo was taken on Saturday, March 27, 2021 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune|The program was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, which had adversely affected all the publishing houses of the children’s zone, added Imran Hossain.

“We made our stalls smaller this year as we felt that sales would be low, but we did not think they would be this low,” he said.

Publishers were concerned that they would not be able to cover such minimum expenses as stall rents and staff salaries.

They attributed the lack of visitors to the Covid-19 situation, political instability and the book fair not being held during the usual festive occasions as Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day.

Laboni Hossain, publisher of Laboni Prokashoni, said: “We will not be able to recoup the money we have spent to participate on this year’s fair.”

“I do not think the children’s zone was given enough attention this time around. It was supposed to have been arranged in a way that kids enjoyed,” she added.

The Mayurpankhi Prokashoni publisher said their art books were exceedingly popular among children. “However, this year, the attendance of children is very low and as a result, the publishing houses of the children’s zone are extremely disheartened.”

The bibliophiles among children are disappointed by the situation as well.

Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, Sadman Sakib, a seventh-grader who loves reading adventure fiction, would have visited this year’s book fair multiple times with his parents to pick and buy books he loves at leisure.

This year, instead of browsing through books among a crowd of children, he was making a list of books he wanted to buy with the help of the internet, as his parents would only take him to the fair once.

59
Facebook 56
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail