Dindigul book fair draws to a close

Books are an inspiration and guide that help in creating one’s own path in life and reading books will help sharpen one’s thinking and creativity, said Minister for Cooperation I. Periyasamy on Sunday.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Dindigul book fair jointly organised by the district administration and Dindigul Ilakkiya Kalam held between October 6 and 16. at Dudley Higher Secondary School. Collector S. Visakan was present.

Mr Periysamy reminisced about the times during his studenthood when he was glued to books, even when he was imprisoned and how his mother was an avid reader. He encouraged people to read for an hour before going to bed for a good night’s sleep and a healthy routine.

Addressing mediapersons, the Minister said that sales of ₹1.5 crore was recorded during the fair, which was commendable.

“The footfall recorded over the 11-day fair housing 120 stalls touched more than 1.5 lakh which is very encouraging as the fair was held after a hiatus of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the rain did not deter people from attending the fair in large crowds,” R. Manoharan, president, Dindigul Ilakiya Kalam, told The Hindu.

He noted that school and college students were given tokens worth more than ₹60 lakh to encourage them to buy books. This turned out to be a success. “Many teachers and professors bought books for their libraries using the tokens that earned them a discount of 15%, while students from 140 government and private schools in the district attended the fair. Around 25,000 hundis were distributed to school students to encourage them to save money to buy books.

Ponniyin Selvan, a historical novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy, topped the charts, while Veerayuga Nayagan Velpaari, a novel revolving around a tribal king written by Madurai MP Su. Venkatesan, came second Another novel, Dindukallil Ezhuthiya Varalaaru authored by M. Vallalar, Textile Commissioner, released at the fair was also well sought after, said Mr Manoharan.

The fair saw a line-up of littérateurs such as Dindigul I. Leoni, poet Andal Priyadharshini, writer Bava Chelladurai and events on each day were dedicated to an artist such as singers S.P. Balasubramaniam and Bamba Bakya, writer Pudhumaipithan, actors ‘Paravai’ Muniyamma and ‘Poo’ Ramu.

Thirty-nine people, including individuals and representatives of educational institutes, were awarded shields for purchasing books worth more than ₹30,000 at the fair.

Meanwhile, 32 teachers who received the State’s Dr. Radhakrishnan Awards between the academic years of 2019 and 2022 were honoured as part of the event.

Mayor J. Ilamathi, Deputy Mayor S. Rajappa and others were present.

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