Bringing to book
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The book fair organised by the Delhi Police at Nizamuddin Basti was attended by students, teachers, readers, writers and underprivileged residents of the locality. Urs Mahal got an entirely new look when it was turned into the venue for the book fair from July 17 to 19.
Ajay Chaudhary, Additional Commissioner of Police (South East), says that the police had initially decided to invite the National Book Trust (NBT) to set up mobile book-shops for a few days in the area. "However, the idea developed into organising a book fair after we got tremendously positive response from several other foundations, including Ghalib Academy, Agha Khan Foundation, Gandhi Peace Foundation and Bal Bhawan."
Since Jamia did not have much space, deciding the venue for the fair was an issue. However, Chaudhary's concerns evaporated when the Nizami family, responsible for taking care of the shrine, readily agreed to offer Urs Mahal for the cause.
The fair offered books in four languages — Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English — on subjects ranging from history and the Partition to science, fiction and folklore. It also had illustrated story books for children aged three to six years.
A special discount of 25 per cent was offered to encourage reading habits among young readers. The event, inaugurated by Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and MP Sandeep Dikshit, was attended by thousands.
Rashmi Tondon, who teaches English to economically weaker students in the area, had come with 70 students to attend the fair. Pointing at the excited kids, she said, "The collection children's story books, is impressive."
Tondon and her students bought a few books at the fair, while the children were asked to prepare a list of books to be ordered directly from NBT.
Ankit, a student of Sri Ram School in Gurgaon, was seen buying copies of illustrated Kabuliwalla and A Happy Sunday for his younger sister's birthday.
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