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Guwahati book fest a huge draw

- Guwahati fair widens children’s information ambit

Guwahati, Nov. 10: The 9th Festival of Books for Children began here today with students from several schools of Kamrup and Kamrup (metro) districts thronging the venue.

“There are so many books on display here and I can easily have my pick from among them. I look forward to attend this book festival every year as it gives me and my friends a unique opportunity to purchase books of different authors and on different topics,” Anita Bora, a student of Maharishi Vidya Mandir in the city, said.

“My friends and I attended the festival last year. This time, too, we hope to have a good time here. Some children’s books that are not easily available in the market can be found here. This time, we are also getting a chance to know more about our rights which will help us to safeguard them,” said Ankit Baruah, a Class IX student of a local school.

The festival is organised by Anwesha, an NGO, in collaboration with Unicef, Action Aid India and the National Book Trust to promote and inculcate reading habit among children.

The theme for this year’s festival, which will continue till November 18, is Rights of the Children.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee, author and Editor, Editorial Pages, The Telegraph, who was the chief guest, inaugurated the festival. Several eminent persons were present on the occasion.

“We have been organising this festival for the past nine years to inculcate the habit of reading books among children. Publishers of children’s books from the city and different parts of the country will displaying numerous children’s books during the festival. Colourful programmes for children will also be held during the festival,” Anwesha president, Paresh Malakar, said. The first day of the 9th Festival of Books for Children saw students of different schools participating in a rally earlier in the day. Dressed in school uniforms, these children marched with banners in their hands that bore various messages on child rights. The children also participated in an art workshop and staged a cultural show.

The talk delivered by Mukherjee on The Author in the 21st Century also proved educative for children.

“Reading helps us to access the world and it is essential that children can see and learn more about the world. Be it books or any other electronic medium, the very act of reading gives a child the opportunity to imbibe information on numerous new things, thereby widening their horizon of knowledge. This festival and this world belong to the children and the adults are just holding the world for them. The young kids should never allow the grown-ups to dominate or overwhelm them in any manner. This festival is a wonderful opportunity for children to get acquainted with goods books,” he said.