Readers with Special Needs highlighted

@ New Delhi World Book Fair 2019

New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) 2019 is set to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from January 5-13, 2019, with the theme “Reader with Special Needs.” Here, Prof. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT, India reveals what to expect at the fair, in conversation with Varsha Verma.

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Prof. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT, India
Prof. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT, India

The New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) is organized by National Book Trust (NBT), India, an autonomous organization of the Government of India under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), the nodal agency of the Government of India under the Ministry of Commerce, is the co-organizer of the Fair. The fair will be spread across the following halls of Pragati Maidan: 7 (A to H), 8-11, 12 and 12 A, covering a total area of 21,000 sq m, with 600 publishers on board.

The fair will be inaugurated by Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. The guest author will be Padmashree Jawahar Lal Kaul, Secretary General, All India Confederation of the Blind. At the end of the ceremony, a video of the National Anthem in sign language, featuring disabled and partially disabled children, will be played. The 3 minute video, directed by Govind Nihalani, stars Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan along with physically challenged children performing the anthem in sign language with the Red Fort in the background.

Theme of NDWBF’19
Every New Delhi World Book Fair takes up a Theme to focus and explore various aspects of an area of intellectual activity having some pronounced social relevance. “This year, the Theme is focused on READERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, with emphasis on the reading needs of children with special needs.

The Theme would be projected to carry forward the idea of inclusive learning, and explore various issues and dimensions of creating, producing and disseminating content for the readers. An exclusive exhibition of around 500 books like Braille books, audio books, integrated print-braille books, books for differently-abled, children with sight or ear impairment, autistic kids, children/readers with ADHD, behavioural/ psychological problems/ anxieties will a major highlight of the Theme Pavilion,” tells Prof Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT, India. “NBT, India will also launch 30-35 new titles in Braille language.

NBT, India already has around 200 titles in Braille, including books in Indian languages like Malayalam, Gujarati, Oriya, to name a few. All these books will be displayed at the fair.” “A catalogue on books for readers with special needs will also be launched at the fair. We are also launching a calendar inspired by films on people with special needs. These films will also be showcased at the NDWBF, in association with UNESCO,” adds Sharma.

“Moreover, there will be an exhibition by Microsoft, where all technology and accessories related to people with special needs will be displayed,” he further adds. “We have also invited differently-abled people from different industries like sports, arts, music, etc, which will be a major attraction at the show.”

“For the convenience of the differently-abled people, there will be a railing in the theme pavilion to help them walk. Also, we will ensure there are enough wheel chairs and golf carts for easy movement from gates to the halls,” tells Sharma. “There will also be seminars, discussions and cultural programmes where differently-abled people will actively participate.”

Children’s Pavilion 
“A number of activities promoting children’s literature and reading habit such as skits, dramas, street plays, musical presentations, storytelling sessions, workshops, panel discussions etc. are organized in a specially designed Children’s Pavilion, besides a huge display of books,” shares Sharma. “We have also invited around 3000 schools to visit the fair.”

Foreign participation…

“Sharjah is the Guest of Honour country at NDWBF. Besides, there will be around 30 publishers from two dozen different countries,” tells Sharma. Sharjah will have a pavilion spanning 750 sq m and will showcase books, authors, calligraphy experts, folk performances, children’s publishing, etc.

Other attractions
The New Delhi Rights Table offers B2B match making sessions among publishers in a refreshingly new business ambience. “There will be more than 60 participants from 10 countries and it will be held on January 7-8, 2019,” adds Sharma.

Due to space constraints, there will be two aesthetically designed Authors Corners this time. The CEOs and Senior Executives will participate in the B2B event CEOSpeak over Chairman’s Breakfast and Chairman’s Dinner to share and exchange ideas about Indian and International book trade.

There will be an International Events Corner for sharing ideas and enhancing literary understanding. “The foreign Exhibitors/Missions/ Embassies/Cultural Centres/ Book Promotion Agencies will conduct events here,”he adds To attract book lovers to the World Book Fair and add to the festivities, there will be cultural presentations by leading organizations.

On a concluding note…
“The spiritual Kumbh comes after every 12 years but the Kumbh of books comes to Delhi every year at NDWBF. Come, be a part of this book extravaganza and let’s spread the knowledge through books,” concludes Sharma.

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