The Pune Book Festival, inaugurated by Deputy Speaker Dr Neelam Gorhe and Minister Chandrakant Patil, is receiving a positive response from Punekars. On the first day, over 10,000 book enthusiasts attended the festival on Saturday.
Today, Hindi poet and socio-political figure Kumar Vishwas will join for the program "Kavi Ki Kalam Se: An Afternoon with Kumar Vishwas" from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
Organised by the Ministry of Education and the National Book Trust in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and the Pune Municipal Corporation, the Pune Book Festival was inaugurated on Saturday.
Dr Gorhe commended the event's organisation, emphasising the importance of encouraging a reading culture. She expressed satisfaction with the event's arrangement and highlighted its contribution to the city's cultural heritage.
'Pune Book Festival stands out among public celebrations'
Dr Gorhe noted that the Pune Book Festival stands out among public celebrations, fostering a dialogue with books that guide, comfort, and promote harmony in society. Encouraging book reading becomes crucial, she said, despite the challenge posed by digital media.
Minister Patil stated, "This book festival is vital for fostering a reading culture and holds significance for Pune. The book 'Exam Warriors' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be freely distributed to students and parents during the festival. I believe participation in good initiatives is Pune's cultural ethos, and the festival will garner a positive response."
Present at the event were National Book Trust President Milind Marathe, Director Colonel Yuvraj Malik, Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vikram Kumar, Additional Commissioner Vikas Dhakne, SPPU Vice Chancellor Dr Suresh Gosavi, former mayor Muralidhar Mohol, president of Deccan Education Institute Sharad Kunte, great-grandson of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Yadvendra Singh Sandhu, and Pune Book Festival chief organiser Rajesh Pandey.
Marathe described the Pune Book Festival as an amalgamation of literature, art, and culinary culture, running until December 24. The National Book Trust aims to translate the knowledge base of the Bhandarkar Research Institute for wider access.
Sandhu shared insights into Shaheed Bhagat Singh's connection to Maharashtra and his prolific reading habits during imprisonment, with his prison diary on display at the festival.
20 lakh books in over 20 languages
Malik, director of the National Book Trust, highlighted four world records set in Pune's festival, endorsing its ambition to become the book capital of the world.
Pandey said that the special support from the state government bolsters the event's success. "The festival, hosting 20 lakh books in over 20 languages across 250 halls, will feature 100 book releases and numerous cultural programs," he added.
The book 'Establishment of Hindavi Swarajya - Shivaray Chhatrapati Zale' was released by Sandhu and was to be gifted to visiting students. As part of the Book Festival, a sentence and record was set for the longest word made of books, titled 'Jaitu Bharat,' consisting of 18,751 books, surpassing the previous record of 11,111 books. The word included copies of 'Exam Warriors' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier, Guinness World Record was created for largest reading activity by 3066 parents participating at a precursor event.
Swapnil Dangorikar from Guinness World Records announced the achievement and presented a certificate to the organisers.