Agartala Book Fair: Spend more time with books, less with devices, Dignitaries suggest
Agartala, Mar 24, 2023, ENEWSTIME Desk
The 41st Agartala Book Fair started with a call to keep eyes less on ‘screens’, and more on pages of a book – both for a healthy body and mind.
Chief Minister of Tripura Dr. Manik Saha inaugurated the 13-day-long Agartala Book Fair at the Hapania International Fair Ground in Agartala on Friday (March 24). In the inaugural session, Bangladesh MP Pran Gopal Datta was present as a Guest of Honour.
The Book Fair is likely to be visited by the delegates arriving to attend G-20 Science meet near the Fair venue.
Despite an overcast condition, a large number of book lovers including college-level students patiently waited for the inauguration of the Book Fair. Child artists dressed in multi-hued attire, traditional clothes, and jewelry made the session more colorful and attractive. This year, the theme of the Book Fair is –‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam- Agartala Boi Mela’.
A record number of 176 stalls were opened including record 15 stalls by Bangladesh Booksellers and publishers.
Speaking on the occasion, Pran Gopal Datta, who is an ENT specialist, urged people to read more instead of fixing their eyes on Computers or mobile screens for health and mental benefits. His appeal came up in view of the growing tendency to spend more time with devices – which have serious effects on health – rather than on reading books, which nourishes the mind and body.
In his speech, Dr. Manik Saha also stressed the importance of reading books for improving one’s thoughts and consciousness.
Referring to Pran Gopal Datta’s appeal, Dr. Saha also observed the habit of reading books has shrunk in the era of digitalization and technological advent.
The Chief Minister pointed out Book has no alternative – “If you do not read books, you will feel a lack of well thought out consciousness in your body”, he asserted.
Tourism Minister Sushanta Chowdhury also echoed the same and urged the Chief Minister to arrange Book Fairs at the District and sub-division levels to encourage people for reading books. He said, books still have relevance and importance in this Digital era.
Supporting Chowdhury’s proposal, the Chief Minister suggested the ICA department to conduct Book Fairs in districts and sub-divisions.
Delivering the Welcome Address, ICA secretary Dr. PK Chakraborty informed the gathering that a request would be forwarded to the delegates, arriving in Agartala for a two-day G20 Science meet at Hapania on April 3 next, to visit the Book Fair. He suggested the Book Sellers to keep their stalls ready with the relevant collections.
In the inaugural session, the Chef Minister along with other dignitaries released theme songs (Bengali and Kokbarok versions). The dignitaries also unveiled a souvenir and Book Fair edition of the ‘Gomati’ magazine of the Information and Cultural Affairs department. Later, the Chief Minister and other dignitaries visited stalls.