As part of its 60 Years programmes (1957–2017), the National Book Trust, India, the national body of Government of India for book publishing and book promotion under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has conceptualized a National Panchayat Book Fair with the view to involve the Panchayati Raj Institutions for promoting the culture of reading in the rural sector.
The first National Panchayat Book Fair is being held at Srinagar, Uttarakhand from 24–28 February 2018. Being organized with the active support and collaboration of the Education Department and the Department of Panchayati Raj of the Uttarakhand Government, the Book Fair, beside the general visitors, will see participation of a spectrum of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samities and Zila Parishads, to enable them to buy books and build Panchayat Level Libraries and be part of the promotion of the culture of reading; to interact with professionals of the publishing and educational sector, and those working in the area of capacity building of the Panchayats; and also to introduce them to the whole culture of book fairs and book publishing etc.
One of the major highlights of the Panchayat of the Panchayat Book Fair is a two-day conference of select 200 Gram Pradhans of Uttarakhand. Titled Sarpanch Samagam, the conference will have talk interactive sessions to discuss the challenges and prospects of promoting reading habit, in particular, in the rural sector through the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The Book Fair and the Sarpanch Samagam is being inaugurated on the 24th February 2018 at the G.I. & T.I. Grounds, Srinagar (Uttarakhand) by Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, with Shri Dhan Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Minister of State, Higher Education (I/C), and Shri Leeladhar Jagoodi, eminent litterateur.
The India Office of the United Nations and the Indian Public Library Movement (hosted by NASSCOM Foundation) are graciously partnering with the National Book Trust, India for the event.