Special Correspondent

460 booksellers and publishers are expected to participate

The 10-day fair will be held at St. George’s Anglo Indian School on Poonamalee High Road

Children can look forward to an interaction with scientist Mayilsami Annadurai on January 17

CHENNAI: The 32nd edition of Chennai Book Fair will be inaugurated on Thursday by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who will also present the ‘Kalaignar Mu. Karunanidhi’ award for the year 2009.

The 10-day fair, being held at St. George’s Anglo Indian School on Poonamalee High Road, will comprise 588 stalls, and spread over 1.75 lakh sq.ft.

About 460 booksellers and publishers are expected to participate.

Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) that organises the book fair will organise special events for children.

About three lakh tickets have been issued free of cost to school children to enable them visit the fair. BAPASI secretary R.S. Shanmugam said last year eight lakh visitors came to the fair.

“This year we expect to receive 10 lakh visitors. About 300 to 400 new titles will be on sale at the fair. The usual daily prize scheme of books worth Rs.1,000 will be held every evening after 8 p.m.,” he said.

Winners of the ‘Kalaignar Mu. Karunanidhi’ award, instituted by the Chief Minister through a corpus fund of Rs.One crore, would receive Rs.One lakh each.

The award is given to four writers in Tamil, one writer of a regional language and one Indian writer in English.

Tamil writers C. Mani (poetry), R. Chudamani (short story and novel), N. Muthusamy (drama) and K. Nedunchezhian (prose), have been chosen for the award.

Renowned writer Girish Karnad was chosen for his contribution to Kannada literature and media for the other language writer award.

Historian S. Muthiah was chosen for the award for Indian writing in English, said BAPASI president Gandhi Kannadasan.

Children can look forward to an interaction with aerospace scientist Mayilsami Annadurai on January 17. Documentary films focusing on children’s themes will be screened.

The finals of quiz, elocution and essay contests for school and college students will be held at the fair venue.

On January 10, a painting contest will be organised for school students.

On-the-spot registrations would be allowed, the organisers said.

The entry ticket for all persons above the age of 12 is Rs.5. The fair will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on working days and 11 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. on holidays.

For more details log on to: www.bapasi.com.

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