Children’s Pavilion steals the show at book fair

Career guidance for special children

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New Delhi World Book Fair
Students participate in a dance workshop at World Book Fair's children's pavilion in New Delhi

The New Delhi World Book Fair, is running from 5 – 13 January at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Organized by National Book Trust, India, the fair offers a good platform to the book readers and publishers.

Despite construction activities in more than half of the area at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi World book fair is going on in full force. Many exhibitors were happy with the footfall while few said that on 5 and 6 January there were few visitors perhaps due to rain. The book fair has come with a complete package with cultural shows, literary sessions, children’s pavilion, authors’ corner, international events corner and New Delhi Rights Table.

At children’s pavilion, a workshop on career guidance for special children was organized by Government of India. Psychologist Dr. Jayender Kumar and Nasir were special guests on the occasion. The speakers were of the view that skills and education can go hand-in-hand to make a good future for one self. Over 150 children from Prerna Niketan Sangh NGOs and Aga Khan Foundation attended the fair. The workshop was followed by a storytelling session by NBT in which Jayanti Ozha, narrated stories about the river Ganges and moral values to the children.

Hall no. 7 was full of children book stalls, where reputed publishers like Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, McMillan, MBD and many others were present. Deep foundation organized dance workshops for the children which they thoroughly enjoyed (if noise of laughter and bubbly chatter is any indication). Workshop on ‘Bal Adhikar’ was organized by Law24x7. There was a panel discussion on “Why Indian history needs story telling?”, which was organized by Ponytale Books and children’s literature by Eklavya. Apart from this, there were songs on environment organized by Hare Krishan Devsare Trust. Many schools and libraries attended the New Delhi World Book Fair.

Penguin India showcased its best selling books of famous authors like Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murti, Lady bird and DK at the event. The company is showcasing its complete range of encyclopedia at the fair. MBD publications showcased its robotic section for children this year at the fair.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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