This year too, the country’s largest month-long book fair historical ‘Amar Ekushe Granth Mela-2024’ is going to start on the first day of February. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the fair on this day.
Amar Ekushe Book Fair Committee Member Secretary Dr. KM Mujahidul Islam said, ‘Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the fair held at Bangla Academy premises and Suhrawardy Udyan on February 1 at 3 pm.’
A total of 895 stalls have been allotted to 573 companies in the fair. Out of this, 786 general stalls and 109 stalls have been given to Little Magazines. Moreover, a total of 37 pavilions have been allocated this year. Last year, 901 stalls were allotted in favor of 601 establishments.
Mentioning that Bangla Academy is doing the entire work of the fair this year, Mujahidul said, ‘In previous years, some event management companies were involved in organizing the fair, which came under some criticism last year.
Preparations for the next fair begin soon after the fair ends and separate committees have been formed in three phases for the preparation phase, the opening ceremony and the month-long fair management.’
Along with cultural programs and month-long seminars, there will be painting, music and recitation competitions for children and teenagers.
Organizers said stalls were allotted to old and newly listed publications through digitalized lottery system on January 23. Apart from the 601 organizations listed, around 70 new publications responded to the notice and applied for stall allocation. Of these, 23 new publications have been selected to participate in the fair.
Mujahidul said, like last year, the main stage of the fair will be held at the Bangla Academy premises and the book unveiling stage and the author speaking stage will be made at the Suhrawardy Udyan premises. A ‘Shishu Chatwar’ will be set up in the Sadhusanga area next to the Ramana Kali temple.
Meanwhile, considering the current situation and the challenges caused by the operation of Metrorail in the book fair area, Dhaka Metropolitan Police has taken all measures to ensure perfect security of the fair as in previous years. In a press release after a meeting with senior police officials, the DMP said the major challenges facing the book fair include militancy, arson and traffic management.
According to the DMP, the Metrorail service has emerged as a new challenge as miscreants have been noticed trying to sabotage the Metrorail. However, sufficient number of policemen in DMP uniform and plain clothes will be deployed inside and outside the book fair grounds and a watch tower and fire tender will be installed to monitor everything around the fair.
Apart from this, DMP Commissioner Habibur Rahman said that the fair ground and its surroundings will be continuously monitored with CCTV cameras and drones.