Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Photo: COURTESY
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated the month-long ‘Amar Ekushey Boimela’ (book fair) on the Bangla Academy premises and at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital.
She joined as chief guest the opening ceremony on the Bangla Academy premise virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Speaking on the occasion, the premier urged all to develop the habit of book reading and encourage the next generation about reading as people can know culture, history and many more through literature.
Sheikh Hasina requested the Bangla Academy to continue literature translation to keep the opportunity to know the other countries through book reading.
Though the month-long fair usually takes place in February commemorating the 1952 Language Movement, the fair has been delayed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bangla Academy President Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan presided over the inaugural function while Director General Habibullah Sirajee delivered the welcome address.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid, MP, spoke on the occasion as special guest. Cultural Affairs Secretary M Badrul Arefin and President of Academic and Creative Publishers’ Association of Bangladesh Farid Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.
At the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister unveiled the book “New China-1952”, the English version of “Amar Dekha Naya Chin” written by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Besides, the premier distributed the prizes among the recipients of Bangla Academy Literary Award-2020. On behalf of the Prime Minister, state minister for cultural affairs handed over the award.
Ten poets and writers were adorned with the Bangla Academy Literary Award 2020.
For the first time, there is an entry-point and parking arrangement beside Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) along with other three entry points at the Suhrawardy Udyan.
In addition, emergency shelter centers have been set up on the Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan premises adjacent to the entry points considering the possible rain and storm during the 28-day long fair.
The visitors have to strictly maintain the health guidelines for entering the fair premises and there are arrangements for temperature test, hand washing and sanitizing in the fair ground.
The book fair will remain open for all from 3 pm to 9 pm on working days while 8:30 am to 9 pm on public holidays with a one-hour break for lunch and prayers.