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India’s Successful Presentation as Guest of Honour Country

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India was designated as the Guest of Honour at the 29th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019 (24-30 April). The National Book Trust, India (under the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India) was the nodal agency coordinating the Guest Country Presentation at the Book Fair. A strong delegation of nearly 100 delegates comprising of authors, children writers, science communicators, artists, CMDs, Directors, senior publishing professionals of 21 publishing houses led by Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust, India returned to India last week after a very successful visit.

The nearly 1100 sq. metres India Pavilion, got designed by National Book Trust, India through the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, its Design Partner for the Guest of Honour Presentations, was visited on the opening day by HH Saif bin Zayed Al Nhyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, UAE; and later on by HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Tolerance.

Earlier on the opening day, H.E. Saif Gobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, along with Ambassador Navdeep Suri, and Chairman NBT, Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, and Dr. Rita Chowdhury, Director, NBT, officially inaugurated the Indian with a lamp-lighting ceremony.

The ceremony was followed with the release of ten children’s titles translated into Arabic and published by the National Book Trust India. The titles launched in Arabic translation included: Stories from Bapu’s Life (Anecdotes about Mahatma Gandhi), Rabindranath Tagore’s Chhutti (Holidays have Come, Goa- A Story of Wonderland, This is My Story, The Rainbow, Name That Animal, Sheela and Leela, The Whole Wide World, One Day.. and My Umma’s Sari.

Launch of Arabic edition of book on Mahatma Gandhi

With the slogan “LET OUR LIVES BE OPEN BOOKS” taken from Mahatma Gandhi’s quotation, the India Guest Country Presentation had lots to offer. The INDIA PAVILION housed 21 Indian publishers from across the country, in addition to Illustrator’s and Author’s Corner, Children’s activity area, Literary programmes and Cultural events stage, Mahatma Gandhi installation, Indian Books Rights’ Exchange Corner and Catalogue Showcase, Reading spaces display, Indian Banyan Tree installation highlighting the plurality and diversity of Indian languages, their origins, and their journey towards the written form. Also housed in the INDIA PAVILION were the Indian Food corner, and the Business club.

Release of 10 NBT children’s titles into Arabic

The Guest Country Presentation had various literary events, children’s activities and other programmes being held throughout the duration of the book fair, including various business sessions like India and Arab/Emirati Round Table conferences. The book fair saw huge sales of Indian books, and many translation agreements and copyright exchanges taking place between Indian publishers in the INDIA PAVILION and the Arab publishers.

Chairman NBT, Ambassador of India and Director NBT with Sheikh Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance

Some of the important delegates included eminent authors/ artists/publishers such as Pandit Birju Maharaj, Prof. Manoj Das, Madhav Kaushik (Vice-President, Sahitya Akademi), Birad Rajaram Yagnik, Preeti Shenoy, Divik Ramesh, Sarjoo Katkar, P Sivakami, Rakshanda Jalil, Indu Menon, Prof. Zikurur Rahman, S. Saradakutty, Surjit Patar, Amish Tripathi, Lalit Behari Goswami, Anjana Chattopadhyay, Nand Kishore Pandey, Director Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra, Aquil Ahmad, Director, NCPUL, Viky Arya, Ramesh Mittal, Chairman, CAPEXIL and President, FIP, A K Sinha, Director, IGNCA, Arvind C Ranade of Vigyan Prasasr, Rajendra Bhatt, Director,   Publications Division, Prof. M Siraj Anwar of NCERT, Harpreet Singh, Jasbeer Jassi, Kutle Khan.

Book release and Discussion on Children’s Literature in Indian Languages
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