Website on India's oldest book binding industry launched



Ever wondered how your favourite books are bound and readied? A website chronicling the life of book binders in the city's Daftaripara - the country's oldest binders district - will offer bookworms all that and more.

Launched Wednesday, the contents of the website have been pieced together by students of Jadavpur University (JU) here. It includes audio and visuals that shed light on the conditions of the binders.

"No one gives a thought to how books are made. We appreciate authors and the content but this project shows us another side of books," Nilanjana Gupta, professor at JU's department of English and the project's principal investigator, told IANS.

"The largest and oldest binding industry in the country is in Daftaripara. The next big one is in Lucknow," Gupta said.

The site has subtitled video stories about the people associated with the binding industry, like binders, daily labourers, suppliers and union leaders.

To validate the presentation, statistical figures compiled through fieldwork and sourced from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have also been added.

For a year, students from English, comparative literature, Bengali, film studies and various science and technology streams zealously contributed to the research and development of the site.

The website is an offshoot of the students' participation in a University Grants Commission-sponsored project undertaken by JU's School of Media, Communication and Culture.

"The initiative was to get students involved in off-campus projects, to take them out of class-rooms and into the real world," said Abhijit Roy, associate professor, department of film studies at the varsity.

The university hopes to zoom in on other such unexplored and marginal professions in and around the city. - IANS