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12th Festival of Books for Children begins
Staff Reporter

Students taking part in a ‘book march’ during the opening ceremony of the 12th Festival of Books for Children, organised by Anwesha, at AEI playground, in Guwahati on Friday. – UB Photos
 GUWAHATI, Oct 14 - With the central theme of child rights and child protection, the 12th Festival of Books for Children, organised by Anwesha, was inaugurated by renowned children’s writer Sandhya Rao at AEI Field, Chandmari today.

The festival, focusing on inculcating book reading habits among children, will continue till October 21.

In her inaugural speech, Rao asked children to read as many books as possible and develop a love for other languages as well.

Speaking on the occasion, Tushar Rane, State head of UNICEF, Assam, lauded the initiatives of Anwesha in promoting creative thinking among children.

“Availability of quality children’s literature in local languages is still lacking in India. It is important to realise the need of motivating kids to read good books, in the age of growing craze for technology,” he said. “Assam is the first State to declare a child protection day on March 4, which is an example for others,” he further added.

Famous storyteller and author Jeeva Raghunath won the hearts of everyone present in the function by her gripping and innovative way of storytelling.

Eminent writer Arup Dutta, in his speech, said that the society was undergoing tremendous changes in the field of culture and literature. “The craze for fantasy literature is replacing good children’s literature. So be very careful in what type of books you choose to read,” he stated.

Prominent writer AC Bhagawati, advisor of Anwesha Jatin Hazarika, District Development Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro) Barnali Sarma also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, Anwesha president Paresh Malakar delivered the welcome speech.

Several organisations like Action Aid, sSTEP, Save the Child, State Child Protection Society and the district administration have put up stalls in the festival for creating awareness.

A book march was also taken out by children of several schools.

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