Bhilar–a hamlet in Satara district of Maharashtra was till now popular for its strawberries. Now it will be known for India’s FIRST ‘village of books. It will be based on the concept inspired by Britain’s Hay-on-Wye, a Welsh town known for its book stores and literature festivals. The staten government initiative was launched by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on May 4.
Pick any Book, Read and Return
Around 15,000 books (in Marathi) would be made available in the village premises. Some 25 artistically decorated locations around the village will now turn into reader hot spots. These hubs will display books which will enlighten the village children and youth in a range of topics from literature, poetry, religion, women and children, history, environment, folk literature, biographies and autobiographies to festival specials.
“Now we are opening it to all who have a love for language and literature. All these books are going to be available free of cost to the readers. Anybody can pick up a book of his/her choice, read for as long as they want and keep it back for others,” Tawde detailed.
A window to Education-Tourism
Bhilar village is near Panchgani, a tourists hub with other neighbouring destinations amassing visitors from across the world for vacation in Summers. Thus Tawded added that the government is also planning to hold literary festivals in the village in this season.
“These festivals will comprise talk with authors, poets, reading sessions, presentation of essays, teaching workshops, exhibitions etc where people can participate freely,” Tawde informed.
Led by Education minister Vinod Tawde, ‘village of books’ project was undertaken by the Marathi Bhasha department. The state government had announced its plans to launch such a book village and literary festivals concept in Maharashtra two years back on February 27, 2015 – Marathi Language Day.