Organisers estimated that this time the turnout may cross 8 lakhs and hoped that their turnover will touch the coveted Rs 10 crore-mark
BHUBANESWAR: Even though the second Odisha state-level book festival Akhyara entered its fourth day Tuesday, the footfall did not see any reduction.
Organisers estimated that this time the turnout may cross 8 lakhs and hoped that their turnover will touch the coveted Rs 10 crore-mark.
During evening, the Exhibition Ground here suddenly sees a huge influx of bibliophiles browsing through more than 500 stalls.
Inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik December 6, the festival will conclude December 15.
Interacting with Orissa POST, Bhaskar Jena, general secretary of Ekamra Pustak Mahostav, said, “There are more than 520 stalls here and there is no fall in the footfall any day.”
Organised by Odia Language, Literature and Culture department and supported by Rajdhani Book Fair, Ekamra Pustak Mahostav, Kalinga Pustak Mela, publishers’ and distributors’ association of Cuttack, more than 18 states of India including cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad have participated in the festival.
Several coaching institutes have attempted to cash in on the student visitors and installed more than 15 stalls.
Old books, ranging from Odia novels to medicine, are being sold at throwaway prices with around 50 per cent discount.
Priyanshu Panda, an MBBS student, visited the stall with several of his friends “to buy some concept books.” He said, “Medical books are in general very expensive. This is once-in-a-year opportunity for students like me to buy them at very reduced prices.”
Be it thriller, crime, drama, documentary or romance, the fair has something for everybody.
The Gorakhpur Geeta Press witnessed lots of visitors who flocked the stall to buy Srimad Bhagavad Gita. The stall is selling the 700-verse Sanskrit scripture in 17 different languages, enough to cater to the multi-lingual diaspora of every state in the city.
Babaji Maharana, an elderly visitor who teaches Gita in schools, said, “In my home, we chant Gita hymns daily.” He added that he was looking for the Odia copy of the book.
Age did not deter 80-year-old Manorama Jena’s love for ‘Atibadi Jagganath Das’ which she said “is pretty vital for today’s generation.”
However, it’s not just the books which make this fair a must-visit. The evening congregation of writers, poets, novelists, publishers and bibliophiles sees literature emanating out from their discussion circle.
Considering the weekday attendance, organisers estimate the weekend to be blockbuster. It may be mentioned here that writers like Disha Nayak from Sri Lanka and Hindi author Mridula Sinha have already participated in the literature forum.