PM opens month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the traditional month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela on Bangla Academy premises on Friday.

Exclusive to the month of February, the 35th fair this year has been arranged with publishers only – a long overdue demand.

The fair has been dedicated to the memory of Humayun Ahmed, celebrated author, playwright and filmmaker.

The Prime Minister inaugurated the fair at 3:00pm.

Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan had pointed out that this year’s fair was expected to stand out from past fairs – which he termed as ‘mini trade fairs’. “This time it is publishers only.”

The Banlga Academy had to overcome several difficulties because of this, he added. “But we hope we can present a nice fair.”

This year, the fair has been limited to the Bangla Academy premises, without the usual stalls on the adjacent road.

A total of 460 stalls have been booked by 278 institutions at the fair. 247 publishing houses have been allotted 419 units. 45 little magazines have been allowed stalls at a little mag corner.

The rest 41 stalls have been allotted to 27 government and other institutions.

Book launch ceremonies at the fair will take place at the Nazrul Mancha.

The fair premises is equipped with WiFi facility.

Police, Rapid Action Battalion, Ansar, plainclothes cops and academy’s security staff will ensure smooth passage of the fair. Several close-circuit cameras will also keep a watch.

The fair is will run up to Feb 28 from 3pm to 9pm on weekdays and 11am to 9pm on holidays. The fair is likely to open at 8am on Feb 21.

Seminars are expected every day at the main stage from Feb 2 at 4pm. Cultural programmes are also expected to take place daily in the evening.

Publishers will be awarded ‘Chittaranjan Saha Memory Award’ for best quality book and ‘Muneer Chowdhury Memory Award’ for best selling quality book published in 2012.

Chittaranjan Saha of ‘Muktadhara’ publishing house started the book fair at Bangla Academy ‘Bottola’ with only 32 books on Feb 8, 1972.

The academy officially began hosting the event from 1978. In 1984, the ‘Bangla Academy Boi Mela’ was renamed ‘Amar Ekushey Boi Mela’

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