Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated the month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2024 for the record 21st time at the Bangla Academy.
The Bangla Academy is organizing the world's largest annual book fair on its and Suhrawardy Udyan's premises with the theme "Paro Boi, Garo Desh: Bangabandhur Bangladesh (Read Book, build country: Bangabandhu's Bangladesh) this year.
It will remain open for all from 3 pm to 9 pm on working days and 11:00 am to 9 pm on public holidays with a one-hour break for lunch and prayers.
At the function, Sheikh Hasina, also the cultural affairs minister, unveiled covers of two books "Collected Works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Volume-2" and "Praner Melay Sheikh Hasina" (Sheikh Hasina in the beloved fair) on her addresses delivered 21 times at the book fair, published by Bangla Academy.
Besides, she conferred the Bangla Academy Literary Award-2023 on 16 individuals for notable contributions to various fields of Bangla literature. The Bangla Academy Literary Award-2023 was given in 11 categories- poetry, fiction, essay/research, translation, drama, children's literature category, Liberation War, Bangabandhu, environment/science field, biography and folklore.
The Prime Minister handed over the awards to the winners of the award.
The award recipients are: Shamim Azad (poetry), Novelists Nuruddin Jahangir and Salma Bani (jointly in fiction), Zulfikar Matin (essay/research), Saleha Chowdhury (translation), Playwrights Mrittika Chakma and Masud Pathik (jointly in drama), Tapankar Chakrabarty (children's literature), Afroza Parvin and Asaduzzaman Asad (research on the Liberation War), Saifullah Mahmud Dulal and Md Majibur Rahman (jointly in research on Bangabandhu), ornithologist Inam Al Haque (environment/science field), Ishak Khan (biography) and Tapan Bagchi and Suman Kumar Das (jointly in folklore).
Along with cultural programmes and month-long seminars, there will be arrangements for children and teenagers which include drawing, music and recitation competitions.
One minute silence was observed to show respect to the martyrs of the Language Movement. Bangla Academy Chairman novelist Selina Hossain and Cultiral Affairs Secretary Khalil Ahmed, spoke at the function.
Director of Bangla Academy poet Mohammad Nurul Huda and Bangladesh Book Publishers and Sellers Association President Arif Hossain Choton, gave the welcome addresses.
A total of 937 stalls have been allocated to 635 organizations in the book fair. The authorities have allotted 173 stalls to 120 organizations on the Bangla Academy ground and 764 stalls to 515 organizations at the Suhrawardy Udyan.
A total of 37 pavilions have also been allocated this year. Last year, a total of 901 stalls were allocated in favour of 601 organisations.