Swati Roy, a graduate in chemistry with a management degree, set up Eureka! a children’s bookstore, along with her colleague Venkatesh in 2003 after saving money from her salary for 12 years. When she started Eureka she had only one vision - to give children a space they can call their own while reading and having fun with everything around books. The logical extension of this endeavour was to create a literature festival exclusively for children. This happened in 2008 with the first edition of Bookaroo in Delhi. Now after 17 years in the business, 16 cities and 37 Bookaroos later, she feels that though this is one of the most challenging jobs she has handled she would not want to be anywhere else. That the dream of creating a space for children could expand to include so many children has been an incredible experience. The quest continues. To see more and more children enjoy reading and parents feeling reassured with the concept of reading for pleasure. Creating opportunities for children to enjoy reading gives her along with scores of adults that Bookaroo reaches a chance to relive their childhood.
Haunting the library and reading books were a passion with Venkatesh ever since early school. Food would often take a backseat as lunch and dinner time were had with a book in one hand. It led to many arguments at home and elsewhere. But the habit lingered. Back in 2003, Venkatesh started Eureka, a children’s bookstore, in Delhi with Swati. Gradually, the concept became very popular and the bookstore turned smaller to hold larger crowd of booklovers. Five years later, following the popularity of the bookstore, the duo decided to expand it further. In 2008, came India’s first children’s literature festival Bookaroo. The aim is to bring books, children, writers, and everyone who loves books together to celebrate the joy of reading. Twelve years, 16 cities and 37 editions down the line, Bookaroo seems on track to achieve what it set out to.
Jayanto, who created the character of the singing donkey Gardhab Das with his cartoonist brother Neelabh Banerjee for the Indian children's magazine Target, hardly needs an introduction. He went to the Christ Church School in Lucknow and had started freelancing while still a teenager, when he landed up at Target magazine. Here, he worked as a cartoonist and illustrator, continuing the iconic Gardabh Das strip with Neelabh for 12 years. After a stint with Business India Bombay, he moved to the India Today Group where he worked on design & illustration for many projects related to politics, business, technology, and especially the lifestyle magazine of the publishing house. Some of his editorial cartoons from this period appear in The India Today Book of Cartoons. After leaving the India Today Group, he has worked at the Asian Age and Hindustan Times. A Bookaroo edition without Jayanto’s caricatures or illustrations to publicise it is unimaginable. Just take a look at some of the recent city posters.
Uncomplaining, patient and willing to work all hours just to get that last bolt in the design arrangement in place is what define Vinay Dominic. A Bookaroo regular, he is the one with the tools to finish the job. He is the one who makes sure we are there on time with the collaterals, whether on-ground or online. Vinay has been in the design and print industry for close to 21 years now. He has had stints with Don Bosco, afaqs!Reporter (the erstwhile Brand Reporter), afaqs.com and Outlook Money. With Vinay around, Bookaroo does not have to worry about deadlines, however demanding.
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