The Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela saw a huge crowd as well as a jump in the sale of books on Shaheed Dibash and International Mother Language Day on Monday.
The book fair opened at 8:00am on the occasion of Amar Ekushey. Many people who came to pay homage to the language martyrs at the Central Shaheed Minar entered the book fair.
As the day was a holiday, most of the visitors came with their families.
Bahar Ahmed Chowdhury, a senior executive of a private company, brought his wife and two children to the fair after paying tribute to the language heroes in the morning.
He said, “I went to the Shaheed Minar with my kids. I and my wife believe our children should know about our glorious past and feel proud of that. They’ve bought a number of books and they’re really happy.”
As the day progressed, the number of people visiting the book fair started to increase. The visitors said they felt comfortable walking around the fair as there was no fear of hot sun and rain in the afternoon.
The presence of young people at the book fair was as remarkable as ever.
Sales persons of several stalls, including Anya Prokash, Prothoma, Somoy Prakashan, UPL, Tamrolipi, Chandraboti Academy and Tonatuni, said the visitors were buying books. Especially, parents were presenting books to their kids on the Amar Ekushey.
“The number of visitors is high today. After placing wreaths at the Shaheed Minar, everyone is coming to visit the fair. Our sales are good. People are buying books. Parents are searching for books of popular rhymesters and science fiction writers for their children,” said Tamrolipi’s sales person Kabir Hossain.
Stalls were crowded and readers were looking for their desired books but many of them were seen ignoring health guidelines. They wore masks while entering the fair but once in, they were roaming without covering the faces or keeping masks at their chins.
Although a mobile court was active in the fair on Sunday to conduct operations against violation of health rules, no such activity was seen on Monday.
Bangla Academy Director General poet Nurul Huda said, “Those who are selling books must follow the health guidelines. We’ve told the sellers that those who come to buy books must wear masks.”
“Apart from visitors, publishers will also have to be accountable if they don’t follow the safety protocols. If the hygiene rules are not followed, it won’t be possible to extend the time of the fair,” he added.