Over one lakh people are estimated to have visited it this year
Over a lakh of people are estimated to have visited the 24 Vijayawada Book Festival which came to a close on Friday. Book Festival Society president D. Ashok Kumar said that last year the weather played truant affecting the number of visitors and proportionately the sale.
Fortunately for the book lovers, the weather was good this year. Not only there was no rain, the evenings were also cool, he said.
The festival began on a high note with Odiya writer Pratibha Ray, who was chosen to inaugurate the festival being selected for the prestigious Jnanpith Award.
The Vijayawada Book Festival inauguration was the first big programme Prof. Ray attended after the Jnanpith Trust announced her name for the award thus giving the book lover here the rare opportunity of being the first to felicitate a Jnanpith Award winner.
The interaction between Telugu and Odiya writers facilitated by the Vijayawada Book Festival Society (VBFS) and the National Book Trust (NBT) turned out more successful than similar interactions conducted between writers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala owing to the close relationship to the people of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The two-day workshop on Creative Writing and Illustration Art conducted by NBT’s National Centre for Children’s Literature (NCCL) was also a unique event in this book festival.
The book festival society announced that it would, in association with the NBT, conduct such creative writing and illustration art workshops in several towns of Coastal Andhra in its silver jubilee year.
At the request of the city and district administrators, the book festival society has decided to patronise folk art forms of Andhra Pradesh on a regular basis.
The society has decided to invite various folk art troupes and artistes to give performances on the dais of the book festival to promote the art forms that were gradually disappearing.
The Burrakatha troupe from Ramachandrapuram, Telugu Gazals by Mohammad Miya, Kurnool, folk magic by Miryala Prasanth Kumar and the staging of plays Kailasamlo Cortu and Saraswati Vaibhavam were very well received by the public that visited the book festival.
Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal and APSRTC vice-chairman and managing director A.K. Khan participated in the valedictory function