The Bangla Academy has decided to hold this year’s Amar Ekushey Boi Mela from Feb. 15 on the condition that everyone attending the fair will need to have Covid-19 vaccine certificates.
The Bangla Academy has sent a letter to the Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Book Publishers and Sellers Association, stating that the fair will be held from February 15 to 28.
The letter signed by academy secretary AHM Lokman asked all writers, editors, vendors, officials and others involved with the fair to take their booster shots if needed.
The Publishers Association forwarded the letter to all publishers.
Johirul Abedin, editor of Ittadi Grantho Prokash, and Redwanur Rahman, editor of Nalonda Prakashani, confirmed receiving the letter yesterday.
“We expected the fair to take place from the beginning of February. But now we will have a little more time for preparations. We believe that between this gap, the infection rate will decrease,” Farid said. Ahmed, president of Academic and Creative Publishers. Association and publisher of Somoy Prakashon.
When contacted, Bangla Academy chief executive Mohammad Nurul Huda said he sent a letter to all concerned.
However, he also said, “At this time, I will not say when the book fair will start.”
He said the academy had contacted DGHS to set up a Covid-19 vaccine stand. “They [DGHS] agreed that they would provide the necessary support.”
The authorities of the fair have already made the first preparations at Suhrawardy Udyan.
On January 16, the fair which was due to start on February 1 was postponed for two weeks, due to the continued spike in Covid-19 infections.
Minister of State for Cultural Affairs, KM Khalid, said at the time that if the cases were under control, one of Bangladesh’s biggest cultural events could start in the third week of February.
Although the fair starts on February 1 every year, the tradition was also broken last year. It started on March 18 due to the pandemic and also ended early – on April 12, instead of April 14 – after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown around that time.