The 50th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) scheduled to be held from 8 – 16 January 2022 at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan has been postponed according to a tweet by the fair organizer, the National Book Trust (NBT) dated 5 January. The tweet stated, “In view of the latest DDMA guidelines and the requests made by various stakeholders and visitors, the New Delhi World Book Fair scheduled from 8-16 January 2022 at Pragati Maidan (ITPO) stands postponed. The fresh dates will be announced separately.”
Indian Printer & Publisher had earlier reported that the National Book Trust had submitted a report to the Central Government regarding the prospects of holding the book exhibition. The NDWBF has been postponed in lieu of the rising number of fresh Covid-19 infections with the capital reporting a total of 10,665 cases of Coronavirus infection on 5 January 2022 – the highest since 12 May 2021 during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) held a meeting concerning the rising number of cases in New Delhi on 4 January (Tuesday) and it was decided to impose a weekend curfew in the capital banning non-essential movement to control the spread of the contagious virus along with other restrictions. The NBT had also received several intimations from regional, national as well as international publishers stating their inability to participate in the fair due to Covid-19 restrictions and the alarming rise in cases. Currently, Delhi metropolis has the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases in India.
Covid-19 resurgence has played spoilsport to the 2022 Indian book fair and literary events calendar with the Chennai Book Fair getting postponed and chances of Kolkata Book Fair still being held despite a Covid-19 case spike in the city. The announcements are still pending regarding the physical editions of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) and the 6th Kerala Literature Festival (KLF). The impending third wave has also led to the postponement of several trade exhibitions such as PaperEx India 2022 and Auto Expo 2022.
The New Delhi World Book Fair was to complete 50 years in 2022, with a special photo exhibition to commemorate the milestone. The theme of this year’s edition was ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ – elixir of energy of independence.
The new dates for the 50th edition of NDWBF will be announced soon keeping the Covid-19 climate of the country in mind.