Bhubaneswar: SAI International on Saturday hosted ‘Booktopia’, a global reading fest to encourage the essence of reading.
The Round Square-inspired global event, held on virtual platform, brought together around 500 students from six countries — Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda and Pakistan – besides India.
Teen prodigy Elise Marr, a 17-year-old writer, composer, singer, actor and musician from Michigan (USA), was the keynote speaker.
Elise, who was impressed by the students of SAI International, emphasized on the importance of developing a reading habit for one’s personal growth.
Besides listening to the insights of prominent speakers, participants got the opportunity to get involved in interactive sessions and meet avid readers from around the world.
Students were divided into 10 barraza sessions themed on book genres like fiction, classic adult fiction, magical, mystery, etc. Names of the barraza reflected genre of the group aimed at discussing, debating and writing about their favourite book.
“Reading is an enriching experience that shapes a child and deepens one’s thoughts and feelings. It widens our world, expands our perspectives and enhances our imagination. We, at SAI International, wish to develop a habit of reading books amongst the youth of today as it not only enhances the vocabulary but also instills values like empathy and acceptance. It influences the way we perceive different things and opens our heart to possibilities,” SAI International Vice-Chairperson Dr Silpi Sahoo said.