The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair- 2021 will begin on Bangla Academy premises and at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on March 18.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the book fair on the day at 3 pm virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban,” Dr Jalal Ahmed, director of Bangla Academy and member secretary of Ekushey Book Fair Committee, told a press conference today.The main attraction of the book fair is publishing of the book ‘New China-1952’, English version of Amar Dekha Naya Chin written by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which will be unveiled by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the inaugural session.
Besides, the premier will also hand over the prizes among the winners of Bangla Academy Literary Award-2020.
The book fair will end on April 14. Though the month-long fair is usually held in February commemorating the 1952 Language Movement, this year the fair has been delayed in the wake of the Corona pandemic.
However, the 28-day long book fair would be shut down, if the pandemic situation get worse, State Minister for Culture Affairs KM Khalid said while responding to a question at the press conference.
Birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of independence has been set up as the main theme of Amar Ekushey Granthamela 2021.
For the first time, there will be an entry-point and parking arrangement beside Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) along with three entry points.Besides, as there is possibility of rain and storm during the 28-day long fair, four emergency shelter centers have been set up on Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan premises adjacent to the entry points.
Every visitor has to maintain the health guidelines properly to enter the fair premises while there will be arrangement of temperature test, hand washing and sanitizing.
The book fair will remain open for all from 3 pm to 9 pm on working days and 8:30 am to 9 pm on public holidays with a one-hour break for lunch and offering prayers.
This year, the land earmarked for the fair has been expanded to 15,00,000 square ft which was 8,00,000 square ft in 2020. A total of 834 units have been allocated to 540 organizations while it was 873 units to 560
organizations in the last year.
The authorities have allotted 154 units at the Bangla Academy ground to 107 organizations, and 680 units at the Suhrawardy Udyan to 433 organizations. Moreover, a total of 34 pavilions have been allocated this year.
Apart from this, there will be 140 stalls at Little Magazine Chattar which was 155 in 2020.
Noting that necessary security measures have already been taken with installation of more than 300 closed circuit television cameras in and around the Bangla Academy complex, he said the law enforcers will be deployed in a large number to ensure foolproof security in the fair.
A mancha (stage) for holding publication ceremonies and programmes on unveiling covers of the books has been set up at Suhrawardy Udyan, while discussions and seminars will be held every day at the main mancha installed on the Bangla Academy premises.
A separate gate will be set up for entrance of writers, litterateurs, poets and senior personalities of different sectors, including civil society members and dignitaries.
Besides, there will be three paths on the Bangla Academy premises, while six entrance and exit routes at Suhrawardy Udyan.
Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji will deliver the welcome speech at the inaugural ceremony on the history of Bangla Academy and the book fair and different aspects of the festival. Bangla Academy president Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan will preside over the function.