Robert Southey, an English poet of the 19th century of the Romantic age has said ,

   “Books are my ever-loving friends.     
    With whom I converse day by day.”

To enable the friends to come together and to select books of their choice, the Periyar Self Respect Propaganda Institution has been organizing book-fair – Chennai Puthaga Sangamam every year. Access to the Periyar Thidal is easier for the public. This is the 4th time that the book fair has been organized in the Periyar Thidal, Chennai.

The book-fair coinciding with the World Book Day (April 23), commemorating the 400th birthday of English bard, William Shakespeare was organized for 3 days 22-24 April 2016. Inculcating the reading habit and absorbing the essence of the text must be the primary qualities of young men and women. To help them browsing the book must be the aim of book sellers and publishers. The fact that the three – day Chennai Puthaga Sangamam, offered 50 per cent discount which gave an added attraction to the book-lovers. All the book stalls were located in an air-conditioned hall of the Nadigavel M.R.Radha Manram.

The Consul General of Russian Federation in Southern India, based at Chennai, His Excellency Mr.Sergey Kotov inaugurated the Chennai Puthaga Sangamam when Mr.S.Rajaratnam, Renowned Tax Consultant and Writer was on the Chair. Dr.K.Veeramani, Secretary, The Periyar Self Respect Propaganda Institution, welcomed the Chief Guest with a shawl and presented a few books to him. When the Russian Consul General was taken around the book stalls, he evinced a lot of interest in history-oriented titles.

Special Lecture: On the first day evening a special lecture was arranged on ‘Books sowing Modernity’ and it was delivered by Tamil Scholar Dr.Avvai Natarajan

Book Release : On the second day of the book fair, the Tamil books written by Dr.K.Veeramani viz. ‘Let us be innovative through books!’ and ‘Students and Scientific Temper’. Question – Answer session was conducted. The questions, raised by the reader audience were answered by the author of the released books, Dr.K.Veeramani

‘Booker Award’ : Eminent persons, who have inspired the public, encouraged and spread the reading habits were honoured with ‘Booker Award’ for the Year 2016. Booker Award was conferred on three persons – Madurai Murugesan, Trichy Pattabiraman, Chennai Arumugam on the concluding day of Chennai Puthaga Sangamam.

Competitions for Children & Prizes Distribution : Competitions and Trainings for the Children in drawing, art crafting, story-telling and learning of basic science were conducted during the three days. Prizes  were distributed to the children who won the competitions. Children of the age group, ranging from 5 – 14 years participated in the competitions.

Entry cards free of cost were given to the visitors of Chennai Puthaga Sangamam were meant for selecting a winner on the third-day and a mobile phone. Large number of customers visited the Chennai Puthaga Sangamam with their children. Both the publishers and purchasers of the books expressed their happiness and requested extension of Chennai Puthaga Sangamam for more than three days. Thiru.V.Anburaj, Director of Chennai Puthaga Sangamam along with the team organized the book fair systematically satisfying the needs and comforts of the book publishers and the visitors in a meaningful manner. Periyar Thidal, Chennai wore a festive look with the congregation of the public, predominantly students, youngsters, women and children.

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