Publishers fear a closure of the book fair due to the government lockdown from next Monday
Amid a rising number of Covid-19 cases, book stall owners of Amar Ekushey Book Fair-2021 apprehend a closure of their stalls with the government about to impose a nationwide lockdown from Monday.
While visiting the fair on Saturday, this correspondent found a smaller crowd compared to other days during the reduced fair time (3pm-6:30pm).
Book lovers are already coming to the fair in fewer numbers following the announcement earlier of an 18-point guideline, said Mostakin Karim, sales associate of Prothoma Publication.
He feared a shutdown of the fair and demanded compensation for the huge loss to be incurred as most of the books which have made it to the fair would remain unsold.
Rejwanur Rahman, sales executive of Bhasha Prokash, expressed similar sentiments and demanded compensation from the authorities.
"Many sectors have already got compensation due to lockdowns. But we are yet to get any amount or even any assurance from the authorities about being compensated," said Osman Gani, publisher of Agami Prokashoni.
He said: "If the publication sector does not get any aid, many publishers will bid adieu to their loving business. However, we are not opposing the lockdown."
He demanded at least a sum of Tk100 crore compensation for publishers who have taken part in the book fair.
The Bangla Academy authorities declined to make any comments in this regard, but hinted that they were waiting for instructions from the Prime Minister's Office on the lockdown issue.