Bishwa Sahitya Kendra readers’count to reach five million
Bishwa Sahitya Kendra celebrated its 40th founding anniversary amid festivities on February 8 at its Bangla Motor Head Office. A procession was brought out from Central Public Library in Shahbagh, which concluded at Bishwa Sahitya Kendra in Bangla Motor.
At the celebration programme, founder of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra Abdullah Abu Sayeed, former minister Rashed Khan Menon, former cultural minister Asaduzzaman Noor, poets Muhammad Samad and Tarik Sujat, rhymester Lutfor Rahman Riton, former director general of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan, theatre activist Khairul Alam Shabuj, artist Mustafa Monowar, seasoned folk singer Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman, science fiction writer Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, among others, took part.
Abdullah Abu Sayeed on his part said that he intends to increase the current readers' number of the library to 5 million by the end of this year from the present count of 2.2 million.
Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal said that whenever he comes across someone engaged with Bishwa Sahitya Kendra he observes that person with greater attention. He says that to become a deeper man-reading of books is a must which Sir Abdullah Abu Sayeed realised forty years ago.
After the procession, a lively cultural programme was held at Bishwa Sahitya Kendra where many artistes performed diverse songs. Besides, dance troupes presented Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Manipuri dance recitals to the delight of the audience.
Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed is a renowned writer, television presenter and activist. Born in Kolkata in 1939, he attended University of Dhaka in East Pakistan after Partition. As a youth, Sayeed devoted his time to writing poetry and prose and led a literary movement in the 1960s as editor of the magazine Kanthashar. He then opted for television and hosted a number of popular shows. He also taught literature at Dhaka College for around three decades.Through his Bishwa Sahitya Kendra, Sayeed attempts to keep alive the rich Bengali literary tradition through books which are slowly being replaced by other forms of media in the modern era. Sayeed's dedication to reignite the passion for reading books among the youth and increase access to literature led him to found the World Literature Centre in 1978.
Bishwa Sahitya Kendra was founded with the slogan 'Alokito Manush Chai'. It has been working to promote reading habits and progressive ideas among students and general public. Sayeed was given the 97th Ramon Magsaysay Award in journalism, literature, and creative communication Arts for cultivating in the youth of the country a love for literature and its humanising values through exposure to the great books of Bengal and the world.
The institution pioneered in the country the concept of mobile library, which carries books around the country. Since books are expensive and libraries are not available at all - these mobile libraries are getting very popular. Bishwa Sahitya Kendra also arranges reader's forum and discussions, which are open to everyone who is interested. These events are open to new thoughts and encourages thoughtful logical discussions.
Bishwa Sahitya Kendra was awarded Jan Amos Comenius Medal by UNESCO in 2008 for outstanding achievement and innovations in the field of education.
It currently operates reading programmes at 14,000 schools and colleges in 64 districts. It also operates mobile libraries, which transport books to readers across the country.