The 12-day 40″ Agartala Book Fair at Hapania International Fair Ground concluded through various events yesterday. Agartala Book Fair, also known as the fair of talent and thinking started on March 25. Like every year, this year also awards were given to important persons for their contribution in different fields.
Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur Memorial Award this year was given to Chittaranjan Debbarma (Swami Chittaranjan Maharaj) for his contribution in the development of education, culture and tradition. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb presented scarf, memento and citation to him. Senior journalist and Editor Sanjib Deb received Atal Bihari Vajpayee Lifetime Memorial Award in literature and cultural field. Dr. Manoj Kanti Debroy received Pandit Deen Dayal. Upadhyay National Solidarity Award for his special contribution in social work. All three of them were given scarves, mementos and citations along with a cheque of 1 lakh rupees each.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in the closing ceremony said, the book fair plays a special role in building developed social system. Book fair infuses and strengthens harmony and cordiality in the society. He said, culture is ingrained in the soil of the state itself. We have to conserve our soil. Our government is working sincerely for cultural development. He said, the government has been increasing the state budget allocation every time. During the time of previous government, in the 5 budgets the amount increased was above 4,000 crore rupees, whereas during the period of the present government, the increase in 5 budgets was above 11,000 crore rupees.
This shows that the state’s revenue is forging ahead. The blueprint of the path in which the state will move ahead in next 25 years has been recently presented. Cooperative Minister Ramprasad Pal said, the book fair has gained popularity in the state.
The closing ceremony of 40″ Agartala Book Fair was presided over by Information & Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Choudhury. He said, there has not been any lag in popularity of the book fair although it has been organized away from the city Agartala. As there is no substitute to knowledge, likewise distance cannot become a hurdle in gaining knowledge. It is evident from the books being sold worth 1 crore 7 lakh rupees last year.
This year, books worth 1 crore 13 lakh rupees were sold in first 11 days. Director of ICA department Ratan Biswas delivered welcome speech at the closing ceremony of the book fair. He said, more than 160 stalls took part in the book fair this year. The number will increase in coming years. He also congratulated every sub-committee and different department of the state government associated with organisation of the book fair.