The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and Saurashtra University (SU), Rajkot, are set to organise Saurasthra Book Fair and Literature Festival in the city from February 9 to 14.
Rajkot mayor Bina Acharya, Rajkot municipal commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani, SU registrar Ramesh Parmar and Mehul Rupani, member of syndicate body of SU, made the announcement of the five-day book-fair and literature festival, at a joint press conference organised at the RMC headquarters on Friday.
“The state government is running Vanche Gujarat campaign to promote reading habits among people of Gujarat. Rajkot is already a smart city and RMC runs five libraries. To promote reading habits and literary activities, RMC and Saurashtra University have decided to jointly organise Saurashtra Book Fair and Literature Festival. The fair and festival give one more identity to Rajkot city,” the municipal commissioner said.
Acharya said that the fair will create the atmosphere of a “mini library” in Rajkot. Rupani, who is also coordinator of the event, said they have plans to make the book fair and festival an annual affair. “Leading publishers of the country have booked stalls for the book fair and there will be literature available in Gujarati, Hindi and English languages. More than 150 stalls have already been booked by publishers. This festival will engage school children, readers as well as budding authors. There will be a dedicated dome where budding authors will get guidance for getting their books published,” said Rupani.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will inaugurate the five-day event on February 9. In the literature festival, Gujarati short-story writer Manilal H Patel, poet Sanju Vala, author Kajal Oza Vaidya, historian Vishnu Pandya and researcher Jorvarsinh Jadav are among the litterateurs who will give talks along with journalist-columnists Ajay Umat, Jwalant Chhaya, Jay Vasavada, Sharad Thakar etc.
“The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has been organising book fair for the last six to seven years. Surat Municipal Corporation has also been organising book fair. Since literature is part of life, we are also organising the literature festival simultaneously,” Pani said on the RMC and SU collaborating for the event.
Pani said that the maiden book fair and the literature festival is likely to cost the RMC and SU around Rs 95 lakh, which will be shared equally by both bodies.