NEW DELHI: The annual New Delhi World Book Fair, in its 28th edition, will focus on how Mahatma Gandhi influenced generations of writers through his writings.
The nine-day fair, organised by National Book Trust (NBT) in association with ITPO, will be inaugurated by Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank here at the Pragati Maidan on January 4.
Besides an exclusive exhibition of 500 books on and by Gandhi in different languages, it will also host 30-panel discussions, book launches and performances related to the theme, they said.
"Mahatma Gandhi was a prolific writer, editor, publisher, printer and institution builder. He wrote extensively in Gujarati, Hindi and English languages. His writings not only reflected his philosophy of non-violence and peace but also gave an insight into the socio-economic and political scenario of the country," the statement said.
It will also witness panel discussions, talks, workshops, children's activities, screening of short films, special photo exhibits as well as cultural and musical performances, they added.
Some of the well-known authors to take part in the fair include the likes of Sudha Murthy, Bhawana Sommaya, Anirban Ganguly, Kevin Missal and Sumit Dutt Majumdar.
Over 600 publishers -- from India and abroad -- will display books at more than 1300 stalls.
The fair, however, will not be hosting any 'guest country' this year.
"Due to the ongoing construction and the subsequent lack of space in Pragati Maidan, we did not invite a guest country this time around," said Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman, NBT.
The exhibition centre, which was inaugurated in 1972 by then prime minister Indira Gandhi, is being re-built into an Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC).
Sharjah was the guest country last year.
However, the space provided for the fair is similar to what it was last year, which is close to "24,000 sq metres", Rajesh Aggarwal, executive director at ITPO said.
Another highlight will be the exhibition of over "250 titles" in Hindi, English and other Indian languages published in Braille for visually impaired readers, the statement said.
"NBT India in collaboration with All India Confederation of Blind (AICB) has jointly published a set of books in Braille...A catalogue of these books in Braille, as well as bilingual catalogue in English and Hindi, have also been brought out by NBT.
A special exhibition of these books will also be put up," they said.
Though there is free entry for students (wearing school uniform), senior citizens and differently-abled people, the entry ticket for children and adults is priced at Rs 20 and Rs 30, respectively.
The fair will end on January 12.