Gomti Book Festival 2023: nurturing literary culture and inclusivity

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Organised by NBT, India, the Gomti Book Festival 2023, a nine-day celebration in Lucknow, stood out for its innovative sessions, interactive literary discussions, and a range of specialized children’s activities. It created a vibrant literary culture by providing unique interventions, including orientation workshops on ‘Writing a Newspaper Article,’ the ‘Billion books for billion readers’ Hackathon, ‘Wish a Book’,‘Shabd Samsara’ and the “Reading Tree,” offering young readers a platform to learn and explore. Collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the festival exemplified inclusivity by distributing free Braille books to readers with visual disability. The festival highlighted the traditional Indian Oral Learning System, through unique initiative of Suno Kahani, (lessons on life skills and famous stories retold by renowned Storytellers), ‘Buno Kahani’ competition organized by the National Children’s Literary Centre, where children expressed their thoughts in their languages, creating stories and ‘Likho Kahani’ where the art of creative writing, making illustrations, graphic novels and calligraphy was passed on the next generation of writers and creators by the industry professionals.

The festival drew diverse participation from artists, writers, thinkers, and experts globally. The grand finale of the festival witnessed a surge in readership, with over 100 stalls in the Book Street attracting more than 2 lakh readers.

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