1 February 2017 Tuesday: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the month long Book Fair "Amar Ekushey Boi Mela" at Bangla Academy premises. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor presided over the inaugural function where Bangla Academy director general Dr Shamsuzzaman Khan delivered the welcome speech.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, all parents should encourage their children to read literature as it can prevent them from slipping into a wrong path. “We can prevent children from heading down the wrong path only by studying literature,” she said.
She also said Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela got the recognition as the biggest book fair of the world in terms of duration. The Ekushey of the Bangalee nation has been turned into a symbol of realizing the rights of the people of the world who love their mother language.
She said UNESCO on November 17, 1999 recognized the 21st February as the International Mother Language Day due to the initiatives of Canadian expatriates late Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam and sincere efforts of the then Awami League government.
Hasina remembered with deep gratitude late Rafiqul and late former education minister ASHK Sadique who were involved in the process of obtaining international recognition of the day.
She said Bangla Academy was founded on December 3, 1955 as a result of the Language Movement and the 21-point program of the then Jukto Front government.
The Prime Minister also distributed the Bangla Academy Shahitya Puroshkar among the winners. Later, the Prime Minister visited different stalls of the book fair.
As in previous years, the venue of the fair has been extended to nearby Suhrawardy Udyan with some changes. The authorities have allotted a total of 663 units – 114 at the Bangla Academy ground to 80 organizations and 549 at Suhrawardy Udyan to 329 organizations.
Besides, 15 pavilions have been allocated for 14 publishing houses, including Bangla Academy.
Strict security measures have been taken in and around the book fair venue to avert any unpleasant incident during the fair.
Bangla Academy is organizing the International Literature Conference to build a good bonding among local and foreign writers, poets, novelists as well as to create a platform to exchange their literary works.
A total of 27 foreign poets, writers, intellectuals from seven countries will participate in the conference.