By Utpal Borpujari
In what can be termed as a most-unique collection, an astounding 700 titles on sports-related subjects published in various Indian languages have been put on display at the 19 New Delhi World Book Fair.
The books, published by around 75 publishing houses over the years, have been put on display in a special exhibition at the world’s second-largest book fair to symbolise the connection between literature and sports in a year when India will host the 29th Commonwealth Games.
From Mulk Raj Anand’s classic book on traditional games and sports in India to books on various popular and dying indigenous sports and biographies of sports personalities, the exhibition titled “Reading Our Common Wealth” became a must-visit for the droves that landed at the fair on its opening day on Saturday.
The fairs organisers, the National Book Trust (NBT), has also brought out a special International Rights Catalogue with bibliographic and copyright details of around 550 of these titles.
To highlight the connection between two faculties that exercise the body and the mind, the exhibition is being embellished by film shows and live interaction of children and young adults with legendary sports personalities.
“Children and young adults will be able to interact with sportspersons like Milkha Singh and Zafar Iqbal, and legendary commentators like Narottam Puri and Jasdeve Singh during the fair at the theme pavilion. Another highlight will be a presentation on the game of chess by International Master Vishal Sareen,” NBT director Nuzhat Hassan told Deccan Herald.
The exhibition is part of NBT’s National Action Plan for the Readership Development among the Youth (NAPRDY) that has the objective of bringing books and youth closer, she said.
The fair has put special emphasis on children this year, with the erection of a special children’s pavilion where a lot of activities are being organised for school students during the course of the event.
Quite appropriately, right across the children’s pavilion is a special exhibit of books on and by Jawaharlal Nehru, whose affection for children was legendary. This is probably for the first time that an effort has been made to bring all writings by and on Nehru together under one roof.