National Book Trust, India an apex body of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India was established on 1 August 1957 to promote books and the habit of reading among the people, especially among children. To mark its 57th Foundation Day, National Book Trust, India organized NBT Foundation Day Lecture at its office premises Nehru Bhawan in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.
Ms Shashi Deshpande, eminent writer delivered the lecture. Ms Deshpande talked about books and reading habit of the people. She said that though libraries and book shops are dying out as they cannot afford rent in the cities, the number of people reading books, newspapers, magazines and ebooks have increased. A large number of people are writing and they are writing because they are good readers. She also talked about her love for books and writers since childhood. She added that books have influenced her and shaped her future.
The function was presided over by Prof. K. Satchidanandan, noted poet. Prof. Satchidanandan talked about reading and books in India and the challenges that publishing industry is facing. He observed that “we do not have comprehensive history of book or reading.” He also hoped that NBT would continue to serve the reading population.
Earlier, A Sethumadhavan, Chairman, NBT welcomed the guests present on the occasion. He was happy to note that NBT is perhaps the only organisation in the country that publishes books in 22 Indian languages. He added that we are trying to enlarge network by opening Book Promotion Centers across the country. He also talked about the vision of Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India
who felt that NBT should function as “book hospital.”
Dr M A Sikandar, Director, NBT proposed vote of thanks. The employess of the Trust who completed 25 years of their service were also felicitated on the occasion.
This is the third Foundation Day Lecture in the series. This annual lecture series was initiated in the year 2012. The lecture series aims to bring about the importance of books and reading in today’s context and bring in critical thinking by inviting eminent personality from among women and men of letters, scholars, intellectuals and others who have made significant contributions to the world of publishing. The first lecture in 2012 was delivered by Dr Shashi Tharoor, eminent writer and Member of Parliament. The lecture in 2013 was delivered by Prof. Andre Beteille, eminent sociologist and National Research Professor.