2 Lakh Visitors Throng Kerala Assembly International Book Festival
The week-long Kerala Legislature International Book Festival aimed to democratise the Assembly space.
The week-long Kerala Legislature International Book Festival (KLIBF) had a massive footfall of more than two lakhs, including school and college students. Around 130 stalls, including 22 from foreign countries, were set up around the Legislative Assembly building.
The first-of-its-kind festival, organised as part of the 100th year of the Kerala Legislative Assembly’s (KLA) library and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, aimed to democratise the Assembly space. The Assembly has decided to open the library to researchers and the public for reference.
MLAs were permitted to purchase books worth Rs 3 lakh each for public libraries and institutions. UNICEF distributed free coupons worth Rs 5 lakh to school students for purchasing books at the festival, which included book releases, panel discussions and cultural programmes.
The KLA announced the week-long festival soon after AN Shamsheer was elected Speaker. “It has been 100 years since the library started functioning as part of the KLA. The Diwan’s Office was turned into a library in 1921. When the Travancore-Cochin state was formed in 1949, the library became known as Travancore-Cochin Assembly Library and was subsequently developed as KLA Library with the formation of Kerala in 1956,” Shamseer said in his introductory remarks.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the festival, where senior writer T Padmanabhan was honoured for his contribution to Malayalam literature.
Renowned writers and artists were honoured at the festival (Image courtesy: KLA).
KLA secretary AM Basheer told Newsclick that around 2 lakh people, including students from 500 schools, visited the festival. “Representatives from public libraries, educational institutions and the general public made the festival successful.”
A book being released at the festival.
The visitors were allowed to visit the KLA museum and library for free while students were given free entry to the city zoo and Napier Museum.
Students throng the book stalls.
The KLA also hosted book reviews and recitations, story-telling, cartoon contests and quizzes for students.
A panel discussion at the Sankara Narayanan Thampi memorial inside the Assembly complex.
Ministers, renowned people, including Teesta Setalvad, Venkatesh Ramakrishnan, Prabha Varma, magician Gopinath Muthucad, Shashi Tharoor, TM Thomas Isaac, and representatives from the LGBTQ community participated in panel discussions held on the status of media and constitutional and electoral experiments in Travancore and Cochin.
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