Bookaroo is a festival that endeavours to make books come alive through interactions between children and authors, illustrators and storytellers. A travelling festival, the flagship edition of Bookaroo is held in Delhi every December. Since its launch in 2008, it has completed 38 editions across 16 cities including Ahmedabad, Bali (Rajasthan), Baroda, Benaras, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Gangtok, Goa, Jaipur, Kohima, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Srinagar, Udaipur and even Kuching in Malaysia. Over 1,100 speakers from 18 countries have been part of the festival so far.
Among the activities are dramatised readings, creative writing workshops and art and craft sessions. The festival’s outreach programme, Bookaroo in the City, visits children who cannot come to the venues for various reasons, through programmes in places such as hospitals, healthcare centres, schools for the under-served and those with special needs, construction sites, orphanages, remedial homes and juvenile detention centres. In November 2021, the on-ground festival returned after a 22-month break, during which the Bookaroo Trust conducted around 75 online events.
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At Bookaroo, children experience an environment of reading in a fun, non-academic way, where they can choose who to listen to and what to do. Though all the sessions are structured according to time and age, the content itself is varied and flexible. The takeaway is a feeling of empowerment, of learning without seeming so, and a camaraderie with fellow lovers of books.
Four tips for the young audience:
– Take a printout of the schedule or go online and check it and mark the events that you wouldn’t want to miss.
– Be on time for your session. Every session runs as per schedule.
– If you have a phone, bring it along (in case you are grown up enough, that is).
– Keep some money with you. You would want to buy books after the sessions.
How to Get There
How to Reach Delhi
1. By Air: Delhi is well connected with domestic and international flights to major cities within and outside India. Almost all the major airlines have their flights operating from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Domestic Airport connects Delhi to the major cities in India.
2. By Rail: The railway network connects Delhi to all major and nearly all the minor destinations in India. The three important railway stations of Delhi are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
3. By Road: Delhi is well connected, by a network of roads and national highways, with all the major cities in India. The three major bus stands in Delhi are Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus. Both the government and private transport providers provide frequent bus services. One can also get government as well as private taxis here.
- Food stalls
- Sign-language interpreters
- Unisex toilets
- Wheelchair access
- Masks mandatory
1. Wear comfortable outfits as evenings are pleasant in Delhi.
2. A sturdy water bottle, if the festival has refillable water stations.
3. COVID packs: Sanitiser, extra masks and a copy of your vaccination certificate at the bare minimum are objects you should keep handy.
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