The Coimbatore Book Festival 2023 got off to a vibrant start on Friday with the inaugural session underscoring primacy of strengthening reading habit as a means to developing a wide perspective of the world beyond the limited self, with a positive mindset.
One of the main highlights of the seventh edition of the 10-day book festival presented by Coimbatore District Small Scale Industries Association and the district administration is dedicating a day for the workforce in the district as a tribute to their pivotal contribution for industrialisation of the region.
Exclusive poetry, elocution, drawing and debating competitions are to be conducted for the industrial workers.
Competitions are also to be conducted for school and college students. Honouring of best authors under three categories – translation, short stories and poetry – by top officials in the district was another highlight.
S. Arulchelvan Perarasu, Mayilan G. Chinnappan, and Malarvizhi received awards for translation, short stories and poetry respectively. Mr. Chinnappan had translated the most common version of Mahabharat authored by noted Bengali writer Kisari Mohan Ganguly into Tamil, and Mr. Chinnappan, a medical professional, had penned stories related to aspects pertaining to his field interspersed with human emotions, while Coimbatore-based Ms. Malarvizhi had brought out the acclaimed collection of poetry titled ‘Judas Maram’
Felicitating them, District Collector Kranthi Kumar Pati, Commissioner of Police V. Balakrishnan and Corporation Commissioner M. Prathap sought to drive home the point that there was no parallel to gaining wisdom and knowledge by flipping pages of books.
The Collector said the event would serve as a window to the world outside the routine life for aspiring readers. Unlike social media interactions that were short and terse, the long-form reading that was possible only with books was what provided space for positive dialogues, he said.
Mr. Balakrishnan spoke of the positive Impact of the street-corner libraries established in crime-prone areas in the city. The energies of the children could be tapped positively, he added. Book reading was encouraged among the police personnel to de-stress themselves, he said.
Mr. Prathap saw in the book festival the much-needed opportunity for people in Coimbatore to break free from the shackles of mundane life and gain insights into the world outside. Codissia president Thirugnanam said the event was a fulfilling one for the association in that it was conducted without any profit motive. The publishers had responded overwhelmingly this time, indicating the strong prevalence of reading habit in Coimbatore. The revenue for publishers was expected to far-exceed ₹6 crore generated last year, he said.
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