EDUCATION | Assam publishers to launch four-day strike against free distribution of textbooks


Guwahati, December 19, 2017: The Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association on Monday announced a four-day statewide strike against free distribution of textbooks starting on Wednesday.

More than three lakh booksellers, wholesalers and publishers will be affected by the decision to provide free textbooks to the government run-institutions, said Dibrugarh committee president, Srikanta Bharali.

He said that the government should reimburse the money to the students instead of giving them free textbooks. "The publishing industry is already going through a critical phase. It is a challenging time for local publishers and sellers as they have to compete with e-books and online book merchants. Sale of textbooks, magazines, journals, newspapers, novels and storybooks have come down drastically. As a mark of protest, we will go on strike from December 20 to 23. All bookshops will be shut on those days," Bharali said.

The association is not against the concept of free textbooks but the government needs to look for other alternatives so that local publishers and booksellers are not affected, he said

"The government provides money to institutions or directly to students so that they can buy books from the market. In any case, the government spends a huge amount to publish textbooks in printing presses. Most of the books are published in cities like Delhi and Calcutta. It can be done in local presses, which will benefit the local industry," Bharali added.

The association also submitted a memorandum to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal through deputy commissioner Laya Madduri.

Feature image courtesy: The Telegraph

Source: The Telegraph