New Delhi: “We believe in Athithi Devo Bhavaa and in our tradition we worship our guests. We hope that the people from the Guest of Honour country, China will feel at home in India,” said Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, while welcoming China as the Guest of Honour country at the 24th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair today at New Delhi to be held from 9 to 17 January 2016. The Fair is being organized by the National Book Trust, India in collaboration with the India Trade Promotion Organisation.
Talking about the India-China relationship since ancient times, she said that there is a mention of Chinese silk dress in Arthashastra which shows how Indian history finds mention of the country’s relationship with China. She hoped that both the countries will strengthen ties both on the cultural as well as knowledge front.
Smt Irani appreciated efforts undertaken by the NBT to bring out 16 new titles under the Navlekhan series and hoped that it would also publish books in 22 major Indian languages. She also said that the children from various states of India including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Manipur, Assam among others with select photographers would be sent as shodh yatris to countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and their memoirs will be published in the form of books.
Shri Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT said that on the lines of inspiration from Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, the Minister of Human Resource Development, the Trust has come up with a new Navlekhan series for young writers under the age of forty and has brought out 16 new titles. He also informed that the theme pavilion will display books beginning from bhoj patra to ebooks and will also display ancient scripts.
Mr Liu Zhenyou, eminent Chinese author; Mr Le Yucheng, Chinese Ambassador to India; and Shri Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, Dr Rita Chowdhury, Director, NBT welcomed the guests present on the occasion. She hoped that through books, booklovers especially the young will get an opportunity to connect with the cultural heritage of India.
Later, Smt Smriti Irani inaugurated the Theme Pavilion and the China pavilion at Pragati Maidan.