Navegaon Bandh to become Vidarbha’s first ‘book village’ | Nagpur News

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Nagpur: The state government has decided to establish four book villages modeled on the “Bhilar” village in Satara, where thousands of books are available for reading in family libraries and over 30 bookstores.
The government has selected ‘Navegaon Bandh’ village of Arjuni Morgaon Tehsil of Gondia district for this project. Soon, Navegaon, known for its national park, bird sanctuary and tourist destination, will also be known as the first book village of Vidarbha, where many houses will become libraries to offer thematic collection of books.
The concept, introduced in 2017 by then Education Minister Vinod Tawde, is based on the village of ‘Hay-on-Wye’ in the county of Brecknockshire (Breconshire) in Wales. With over 20 bookshops in this town of 2,000, ‘Hay-on-Wye’ is often described as ‘the town of books’ and the annual Hay Festival is also held here. Along the same lines, Bhilar has a Maharashtra ‘Book Village’ and an annual literary festival is also held there. After the success of Bhilar, the state decided to develop a village in each district as a “book village”.
The Navegaon Bandh Foundation, a local arts and culture group, was instrumental in granting Navegaon ‘book village’ status. Ramdas Borkar, secretary of this foundation, said that Navegaon perfectly matches the criteria established by the state for the book village project. “A place of tourist attraction, having historical significance, endowed with natural beauty and winning a cleanliness award were the parameters of the selection. With the help of the villagers, Navegaon Bandh has it all,” Borkar said.
Sarpanch Aniruddha Sahare from Navegaon expressed his joy at having chosen his village for such an important project. “Vinay Malwankar, a member of the Marathi language directorate, had traveled to ‘Navegaon Bandh’ last month to carry out the inspection. We had hoped ever since. We are thrilled to be a Book Village since the state released the resolution yesterday,” he said.
Besides Navegaon Bandh, Verul village in Aurangabad, Pombhurle village in Konkan and Audumbar village in Sangli district have also been shortlisted in their respective divisions to be developed as “book village”. Maharashtra is the first Indian state to work on such an innovative literary concept.
WHAT’S IN A BOOK VILLAGE
* At least 10 book collection rooms of 250 square feet each
* Each room will have a collection of books based on a particular theme
* Villagers will maintain these reading rooms with local and government support
* Literary events, poetry summits, book publishing events, etc. throughout the year
* Visits of litterateurs, poets, authors, discussions, debates, symposiums and much more
* School and college students, readers clubs will plan special visits


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