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Dhaka Tribune

Amar Ekushey Book Fair opens Thursday: Publishers expect booming sales

  • This year the book fair will last for 29 days
  • Publishers expect metro rail-fueled sales boom
  • A total of 937 stalls have been allocated
  • Foolproof security measures taken
Update : 01 Feb 2024, 12:11 AM

The month-long “Amar Ekushey Book Fair-2024”  begins at the premises of the Bangla Academy and at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Thursday..

The fair has carved a niche in the hearts of all Bangalees, organized as it is by Bangla Academy in the month of February every year. It brings together  people from all walks of life, including writers, readers and cultural activists.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the month-long book fair at 3pm on Thursday. Culture Secretary Khalil Ahmed will be the special guest at the opening ceremony. 

Bangla Academy Director General Muhammad Nurul Huda will deliver the welcome speech while Bangla Academy president Selina Hossain will preside over the ceremony.

This year the book fair will last for 29 days as it is a leap year. The Amar Ekushey Book Fair will be open  from 3pm to 9 pm except on holidays. No one will be allowed to enter the fair premises after 8:30pm. The  fair will continue  from 1 am to 9pm on holidays. On February 21,  Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day, the fair will begin at 8 am and continue till 9 pm.

Various stalls have been set up. A total of 937 stalls have been allocated to 635 organisations. The authorities have assigned 173 stalls to 120 organisations for the Bangla Academy ground and 764 stalls to 515 organisations for Suhrawardy Udyan.

Altogether 37 pavilions have been allocated for this year's event. 

Last year, 901 stalls were allocated to 601 organisations.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  will  launch new books, including 'Collected Works of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Volume-2,' published by Bangla Academy. 

The theme of this year's book fair is "Porho Boi, Gorho Desh: Bangabandhu’r Bangladesh (Read Book build country: Bangabandhu's Bangladesh)’’.

Member Secretary of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair Committee Dr KM Muzahidul Islam said, "The  entire work of the fair is being done by Bangla Academy  to avoid any criticism."

Publishers expect metro rail-fueled sales boom

A visit to numerous book stalls revealed publishers in high spirits as they believe that the metro rail will boost their sales this time. Publisher Nasir Ahmed Salim of Kakoli Publications, who has been associated with the fair since 1978, is expecting more sales this time than last year. 

"I hope  this year's sales will increase a lot because of the metro rail", he told Dhaka Tribune. .

One of the attractions of his stall is the books of Humayun Ahmed.

"Humayun Ahmed's book is still on top," Ahmed Selim mentioned. 

Tight security 

Foolproof security measures have been taken for the month-long Ekushey Book Fair, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Habibur Rahman at a press conference at the Suhrawardy Udyan premises on Wednesday afternoon. 

The DMP commissioner said a CCTV control room has been set up at the fair and the  surrounding areas and the fair ground will be monitored at all times. Bags and belongings will be searched and there are metal detectors at the gate. 

A  team of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) will remain alert to tackle any untoward incident. Police will be deployed in and around the fair venue, while plainclothes policemen and detectives will patrol in and around the book fair grounds, he added

"We have various types of patrolling: drone patrolling, cyber patrolling. There will also be dog squads and a watch tower for overall security."

Apart from security measures, there will be breastfeeding facilities for mothers and a Lost and Found Centre. Blood will be collected through the blood bank. Besides, clean drinking water will be provided, he mentioned 

Dhaka Metropolitan Police will take action if any book is published which is in violation of the law or may hurt religious sentiments, the DMP Commissioner added. 

Bangla Academy Literary Award-23

This year, the Bangla Academy Literary Award-2023 will be given in 11 categories- poetry, fiction, essay/research, translation, drama, children's literature category, Liberation War, Bangabandhu, environment/science field, biography and folklore for contributions to various aspects of Bangla literature.

The recipients are: Shamim Azad in poetry, Nuruddin Jahangir and Salma Bani jointly in fiction, Zulfikar Matin in essay/research, Saleha Chowdhury for translation, Playwrights Mrittika Chakma and Masud Pathik jointly in drama, Tapankar Chakrabarty for children's literature, Afroza Parvin and Asaduzzaman Asad in research on the Liberation War, Saifullah Mahmud Dulal and Md Mojibur Rahman for research on Bangabandhu, ornithologist Inam Al Haque in environment/science, Ishaq Khan for biography and Tapan Bagchi and Suman Kumar Das jointly in folklore.

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