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Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal inaugurates 'Festival of Letters'

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal on Monday inaugurated the 39th edition of 'Sahityotsav: The Festival of Letters', which will see the participation of more than thousand authors in over 170 languages.

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal on Monday inaugurated the 39th edition of 'Sahityotsav: The Festival of Letters', which will see the participation of more than thousand authors in over 170 languages.

The annual literary festival, organised by the Sahitya Akademi, will also feature various programmes including 'Multilingual short story reading', 'North-Eastern writers' Meet', 'Multilingual Poets' Meet', 'Yuva Sahiti' and 'LGBTQ Writers' Meet'.

'Literary writing is a different art, and a writer is a seeker. Only aspiring writers create a better culture, a better society, and a better country. Literature has had a great influence on me as well,' said the minister as he congratulated the Sahitya Akademi for successfully organising the literature festival for almost 40 years now.

The six-day literary gala, which will also mark the 70 years of the foundation of the Sahitya Akademi, will felicitate the 24 winners of the Sahitya Akademi Award on Tuesday. Renowned Odia writer, Pratibha Ray, will be the chief guest of the award presentation ceremony.

The event will feature lectures and sessions by eminent writers and poets including Gulzar, who will deliver the Samvatsar lecture. Other writers and poets attending the event include Arjun Deo Charan, Oscar Pujol, Paro Anand, Manisha Kulshreshtha, Humra Quraishi, Yatindra Mishra, and Ranjit Hoskote.

Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, K Sreenivasarao said the festival is a celebration of Indian languages and literature in the true sense of the word.

'This is the 70th year of Sahitya Akademi and the 40th year of Festival of Letters. It is a big achievement in itself for a literary festival to keep the country's diverse literature dynamic for 40 consecutive years,' he said during the inaugural event.

Other writers and poets who will take part in the literature festival include Badri Narayan, Jeet Thayil, Mamta Kalia, Nachhatar, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Damodar Mauzo, Geet Chaturvedi, and Maitreyi Pushpa.

Children's writers, young writers, short story writers and women writers literature will also be part of separate panel discussions and meets.

The festival will come to a close on March 16. PTI MG BK BK

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