Cricket, exam take shine off Urdu book fair at Jamia
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Okhla Times Campus Reporter
A book fair in promotion of Urdu language held at Jamia Millia Islamia (March 26-April 3) turned out to a damp squib with very few people attending it. Organized every year by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) in different cities, this year it was expected to withdraw a huge crowd of university students and residents from the Okhla locality. But it didn’t happen so. More than 16 publishers who had their stalls erected blamed the cricket World Cup, exam and end of the financial year for the poor response from the locals.
Md Azeem Khan, director Islami Kitabghar, said: “The response was not good. The fair was not held at the right time with cricket fever gripping the locality a few turned up to purchase books. Above all, students are also busy in preparation of exams.”
Khan was able to sell only 100 books in nine days. Other publishers had the same story to narrate. Imran Hassan of Good Work Book said: “Public response was not encouraging.”
Khalid Rahmani, Al-Balagh Publication, said: “The response was not good. But still we are satisfied with the sales.”
Md Tayyab of PlanMedia said: “We managed to have 54 subscriptions for Sunday Indian Urdu magazine.
On April 3, the last day of the book fair, a handful of people were visible. JMI student Shereen Zahra said: “She couldn’t find the right book.” But another JMI student Rizwan Ullah, who came from Khanpur to attend this book fair, bought Rs 7,000 worth books. “Such fair should be held on and off.”
The book fair, inaugurated by nationally famed scriptwriter Javed Akhtar, was earlier slated to be held in Bangalore. But at the last minute the venue was shifted to JMI with the Karnataka government not giving permission, according to a publisher.
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