After being shifted from its traditional February 1st inauguration day due to Covid-19, Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2022 will begin on Tuesday.
The traditional book fair will be held stBangla Academy premises and the adjacent venue at Suhrawardi Udyan in the capital.
This year, the fair is scheduled to be held till February 28.
However, the duration would get an extension if the Covid-19 situation gets better, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said on Monday.
Bangla Academy announced the details of the fair at a press conference at the AKSB auditorium on Monday, where the state minister and officials of the academy shared the detailed planning of the fair to the media.
Alongside Khalid, Bangla Academy Director General poet Nurul Huda, Ministry of Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur Ekushey Book Fair organizing committee Member Secretary Dr Jalal Ahmed were also present at the press conference.
Like the last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually inaugurate the fair on Tuesday from Ganobhaban.
The inauguration ceremony will be chaired by novelist Selina Hossain, the newly appointed President of Bangla Academy.
The prime minister will also distribute the Bangla Academy Literary Award 2021 among the recipients at the inaugural ceremony.
KM Khalid said, “Due to the ongoing Covid-19l pandemic situation, the total duration of Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2022 has been curtailed. However, if the situation improves, the time will be extended and we are looking forward to everyone’s cooperation for a successful book fair this year.“
It was announced that there will “No Mask, No Sell” policy for the sellers-customers at this year’s fair, which means no one can buy the books without being masked up.
Also, the officials and publishers of the academy concerned with the fair, the concerned officials and the sales executives in the stalls and the pavilions will have to carry their vaccination certificates. Customers will have to show the vaccination certificates at the food stalls at the fair.
Violators of this guideline will face punishments and adequate social distancing must be observed in food stalls and the entire fair zone, MoCA Secretary Md Abul Monsur said at the press conference.
The territory of this year’s book fair will cover a total of 7,00,000 square feet area. A total of 776 units have been allocated to 534 organizations for this year’s book fair, compared to 834 units to 540 organizations last year.
There will be 142 stalls on the Bangla Academy premises and 634 stalls at Suhrawardy Udyan.
For the second year in a row, the fair authority has decided not to have the traditional ‘Shishu Prohor’ event on the inaugural day of the fair, and the children’s corner has been again shifted to Suhrawardi Udyan this year.
Seminars will be held at the main stage of the fair venue at 4 pm every day, followed by cultural events.
To prevent the hassle of the fair-goers, there will be 3 information centres. The fair-goers can move through the 4 entrances and 3 exit points from 2 pm to 9 pm on regular days and 11 am to 9 pm on the holidays.
However, the fairgoers can enter the fair on International Mother Language Day at 8 am. Entrance points will be closed after 8.30 pm.
The numbers of volunteers and other necessary amenities have been increased this year to ensure adequate support for the book-lovers, including some new features such as children zone, police control room, breast Feeding zone, wheelchair for physically challenged booklovers, prayer zone and more.
The fair venue was first extended to Suhrawardy Udyan in 2013 to accommodate more
There will be strict security arrangements in and around the venue by the Bangladesh Police, RAB, BGB and other security enforcements to prevent any unpleasant incidents. The entire fair zone will be closely monitored by more than 300 CCTV cameras.
‘Chittaranjan Saha Memorial Award’ will be distributed to the best publishers, while the ‘Munir Chowdhury Memorial Award’ will be conferred upon three organizations for publishing the best books in the 2022 fair.
In addition to that, the ‘Rokanuzzaman Khan Dadabhai Memorial Award’ will be awarded to the best children book, and the ‘Artist Qayyum Chowdhury’ memorial award will be awarded to the best-designed stall at the fair.
The month-long book fair is arranged every year in February commemorating the sacrifices of people who laid down their lives on February 21, 1952, for establishing Bangla as the mother tongue.
The traditional Amar Ekushey Book Fair began informally in 1972 on Bangla Academy premises; however, the academy officially took the responsibility to arrange the fair regularly, every year since 1978.
It was then named ‘Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela’ and a guideline was laid out in this regard in 1984.