The apex body of publishers in West Bengal will soon appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for extending financial help to stall owners at College Street- the city's book hub to tide over the crisis caused by cyclone 'Amphan' and the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
The Publishers & Booksellers Guild said it will write to Modi and Banerjee, highlighting the damage caused to printed materials and book shops by the cyclone, as well as draw their attention to the financial losses incurred due to the curbs imposed to contain COVID-19.
Monetary assistance is required to revive the 'Boi Para' (book mart), guild president Tridib Chatterjee said on Monday.
"The natural calamity has left the publishers and book sellers in a serious crisis with a huge number of books, printed materials and small shops getting completely ravaged by the cyclone," Chatterjee, himself owner of Patrabharati publications, said.
Guild sources estimate the damage to be at least Rs 1 crore.
"The continuing lockdown has already resulted in massive financial losses for the publishers and book sellers," he added.
The guild will also appeal to all foreign embassies and book lovers of West Bengal, India and abroad to come forward and help.
"We will announce the details of a relief fund created by the guild. Let us all rebuild the College Street Boi Para together," guild general secretary Sudhansu Sekhar Dey said.