From our Staff Correspondent
Dibrugarh, Dec 19: The All Asom Publishers and Book Sellers Association (AAPBSA), Dibrugarh Town Committee has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbanda Sonowal, asking the latter to make some significant changes to the State Government’s policy of ‘Education for All’.
According to the association, the policy of the government to provide free books to the students of all classes has put the families of around 3 lakh book sellers and publishers of Assam in dire straits. It also mentioned that the e-commerce industry and e-books had already shrunk the paperback industry’s profits by a huge margin, and therefore, this move would put the fil il to the coffin, if not corrected soon.
The body has also asserted that this decision of the State has had an adverse impact on the sale of other books, magazines, as well as newspapers, because the students were fast losing interest to buy other non-academic books or literary material on account of the free books being made available to them. This phenomenon of dwindling demand for books was discouraging the publishers to publish new works on Assamese literature, and this, the association fears may eventually lead to the extinction of Assamese literature.
The AAPBSA has, however, clarified that it was not against the objective that the policy seeks to achieve, but only wanted some structural changes in the overall programme. Some of the measures suggested by the organization in this regard included providing free books to the students only up to Class VIII and entrusting the local booksellers with the task of supplying books to the respective libraries of the various schools, colleges and universities present all across Assam.