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Promoting Inclusivity in Society with Two Unique Mascots of a Book Fair

Indian Masterminds Stories

A book fair in Karur district of Tamil Nadu is drawing attention for its two mascots as much as for its book collection. The mascots are unique in the sense they are promoting inclusivity. Named Noolan and Nooli, they are a pair of male and female Slender Loris, an animal called Devangu in local language, which is generally looked down upon as it is considered ‘ugly’. 

Hence, the district administration of Karur is not only promoting reading culture through the fair, which started on 19 August, but is also promoting inclusivity through the pair of mascots, and, at the same time, creating awareness of the need for conservation of Slender Loris. The whole idea is District Collector Prabhushankar T Gunalan’s, and Indian Masterminds spoke to him to get more details about it.

UNUSUAL MASCOTS

While speaking to Indian Masterminds, IAS officer Prabhushankar T Gunalan said, “Slender Loris or Devangu is an animal which is looked down upon and is generally considered as an ugly animal in the state. Many a times, people use the word, ‘devangu’, to describe someone as ugly. Therefore, to change this mentality of people and to spread a word for the animal’s conservation to save it from going extinct, we selected it as the mascot for the book festival.”

Mr. Gunalan sketched the two mascots named Noolan and Nooli himself, which have been created in a way to send out a very strong message to the people who attend the book festival. Noolan means ‘book’ in Tamil and Nooli is a modern word created to showcase the female mascot.

Rough sketch made by the District Collector

Mr. Gunalan said, “Two mascots were made, one male and the other female, as to be gender neutral. The head of both the mascots were given the shape of a Slender Loris and the girl mascot is made out to be disabled. Through this, I wanted to spread a strong message of gender equality and inclusivity, as disabled and transgender people are as much a part of our society as abled people are.”

Needless to say, both Noolan and Nooli are attracting eyeballs in the ongoing book festival.

BOOK FESTIVAL

The book fest, which started on 19 August, features lakhs of books by various publishers in more than 100 stalls. Apart from books, archeology museum, planetarium, short film theater, restaurant and many other special features are also there to add variety to the fest.

Arrangements have been made to bring around 5000 school and college students to attend the book festival every day. Also, on all 11 days of the fest, there will be art performances by students and awareness programs against drug addiction from 4 pm to 6 pm. While from 10 am to 6 pm, programmes like art shows, speech contests, reading competitions are to be held for the school students to bring out their knowledge and skills. 

Karur Book Festival 2022 invitation

Also, some of the best Tamil speakers will take part in the ‘thought arena’ every day and speak on a host of topics.  Adding to the attractions, the Department of Archeology and Museum has put on display more than one thousand square feet of archeological artifacts on the living culture of the Chera Tamils.

BRINGING BOOKS CLOSER TO RURAL STUDENTS

The festival has been organised by the district administration so that the rural students can get books on a variety of topics closer to their homes. A special discount of 10% is being given on all books sold in the fair. The Tamil Nadu Government Textbook Association is also participating in it. 

Books on around 50,000 topics like art, literature, society, philosophy, historical novelties, self-reliance, self-improvement, medicine, guide books for all government jobs including IAS, IPS, etc., decorate the shelves in the stalls, making the fair a haven for book lovers. 


Indian Masterminds Stories

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