The fair will remain open from 12pm to 5pm every day until further notice
The Bangla Academy has decided to continue the Amar Ekushey Book Fair despite the lockdown issued by the government, set to start on Monday.
According to the new schedule, the book fair will be open from 12pm to 5pm every day until further instructions are issued.
As infections and deaths rise alarmingly in the country, the government has decided to lockdown the entire country from April 5 to 11 pm on April 11.
With the new rules stating the public are requested to stay indoors from 6am to 6pm during the lockdown, many have been wondering how people are expected to visit the book fair.
When asked why the book fair will continue during the lockdown, Habibullah Siraji, director general of book fair organizer Bangla Academy, said: “Those who don't like the fair don’t have to open their shops and those who don't want to come don’t have to come to the Book Fair. We are not forcing anyone to come.
“On one day publishers will say that the book fair should be open, on another day they will demand something else. We didn't want a book fair at all during Covid-19. The publishers forced us to arrange it this year. That’s why we tried with our heart and soul to arrange the fair. If they sing a different song no, then we can’t help it,” he added.
Regarding a virtual book fair, he said: “When I talked about a virtual book fair, the media wrote against me. Publishers criticized me. Now the Book Fair will remain open. The media should praise that Bangla Academy decided to open the book fair after everything that has happened.”
Due to the coronavirus, the book fair was postponed and began from March 16.
From March 16 to March 31, the fair was held everyday from 3pm to 9pm. However, on Fridays and holidays, the fair would start at 11pm.
The fair is set to run until April 14, the day of the Bengali New Year in Bangladesh.
However, earlier last week, the Bangla Academy decided to reduce the time of the fair due to the sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
Sunday marks the 17th day of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, and 47 new books arrived at the fair on the day. This year’s fair focuses on the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Independence.