Ghummakkad Narain - The Travelling Literature Festival is a NIVESH and HHACH initiative, started under the aegis of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2010. The festival aims to celebrate all forms of literature with activities on book reading, creative writing, illustration workshops, puppet shows, oral storytelling, etc. from a wide range of writers, illustrators and performers both from India and abroad.
The festival has three major components, the first focuses on children called the xx, the second focuses on the oral storytelling format called Kathakar – the International Storytellers Festival and the third focuses on education for peace called Aiminat – Peace Across Borders.
The festival was started in 2010 in the memory of Thakur Vishva Narain Singh under the aegis of UNESCO to support the Indian government’s initiative to spread education to all corners of the country called the Right To Education (RTE) which mandates reading and libraries for all schools. The idea for the festival is to travel to children and areas where they do not have access to books and reading. The festival works with private as well as state government schools including those run by the Muncipal Council of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the state government. Books are also donated to schools to start class libraries where there are none.
The festival so far has been addressed by Dr (Late) APJ Abdul Kalam (former President of India), Dr Shashi Tharoor (former Minister for Human Resource and Development), Margaret Alva (former Governor of Uttarakhand), political leader Sunil Shastri, actors Nandita Das and Sushma Seth, illustrator Emily Gravett, storytellers Joanne Blake, Tuup, Joseph Baele and Xanthe Gresham, authors Roshen Dalal, Christopher Doyle and Anushka Ravishankar, among others.