What started as a two-man endeavour to instil the spirit of Liberation War among the youth has now become a platform to resist anti-liberation elements through reading.
Rezwan Ahmed, a councillor of Sylhet City Corporation, and Pranab Kanti Deb, an assistant professor at Sylhet International University, founded the organisation, Innovator, in 2006.
They believe books are the most powerful weapon to fight anti-liberation elements.
In last 12 years, 12,413 students from universities, colleges and schools in Sylhet have participated in Innovator's “Boipora Utsab” (Book Reading Festival). In 2017, Innovator won “Joy Bangla Award”, an award that celebrates young innovators and change-makers.
A series of events -- book distribution and reading, discussion, competition and award ceremony -- are held as part of the festival. Organisers select books, written in “true” spirit of Liberation War for students.
The festival starts in month of victory (December) and an assessment test is held in month of Language Movement (February). It ends in month of independence (March) through an award ceremony.
Ekattorer Dinguli by Jahanara Imam, Hangor Nodi Grenade by Selina Hossain, Namhin Gotrohin by Hasan Azizul Huq, Jonojuddher Gonojoddha by Maj (retd) Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan, Khela Ghar by Mahmudul Haque, Dui Sainik by Shawkat Osman, Rifle, Roti, Aurat by Anwar Pasha, Talash by Shahin Akhter, Golpota Shesh Hoyna by Selina Hossain, Nishiddho Loban by Syed Shamsul Haq, Shobhoner Shadhinota by Rashid Haydar and Megher Pore Megh by Rabeya Khatun, Ekattorer Ekdol Dustu Chele by Anisul Hoque and Uttarkal by Amzad Hossain are some of selected books.
Celebrating 12 years, Innovator organised the festival this year with the title “Ekattor Chuye Chuye Ek Jug”. It was inaugurated on December 8 last year and the test was taken on February 22.
Ekattorer Ekdol Dustu Chele and Uttarkal were selected. The award ceremony is scheduled for today, to be attended by writer-columnist Anisul Hoque and mountaineer Musa Ibrahim.
While talking to The Daily Star, Rezwan and Pranab said they wish to take the festival across the country. They also have a plan to establish Liberation War museums and institutionalise reading books on the country's glorious struggle for liberation.