PUNE: City-based children’s writer LM Kadu has won this year’s Sahitya Akademi Award for the novel, ‘Kharichya Vata’. The novel describes a unique bond between two teenaged boys and their pet squirrel.
Meanwhile, Rahul Kosambi has been declared recipient of Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his essay ‘Ubha Adwa’.
The award consists of Rs 50,000 and a copper plate, which will be conferred upon the winners at a special event on November 14.
The novel, ‘Kharichya Vata,’ has received prestigious awards such as the Bhairuratan Damani (2013) Puraskar, the Sane Guruji Award for best book (2013), an award by Parivartan Sanstha and the B Raghunath Award by Nath Foundation (2015).
Kadu told Sakal Times that he is happy his novel was selected for the award. He said the scenario of children’s literature in the country is not satisfactory and more efforts need to be undertaken.
Kadu said parents should lead by example. He said if parents read, children too will develop a healthy reading habit. About the need for visual elements, Kadu said while conceptualising children’s literature, one has to give equal emphasis on language and visual elements like sketches or pictures.
He said he took out time to reflect upon the position of pictures in ‘Kharichya Vata’. He said the style of writing for children’s books needs to be convincing for them. “Authors of my generation like to narrate anecdotes from their growing up years. But one needs to know that times have changed. This may prove uninteresting for the young generation,” said Kadu.
Rahul Kosambi expressed satisfaction for having been selected for the award. He works as Western Region Officer of National Book Trust of India and is pursuing PhD on ‘New Dalit Middle Class’ from Mumbai University.
Kosambi told Sakal Times that considering the situation in India, technology alone cannot be enough to foresee necessary development in society. He said the role of thought-provoking literature cannot be ignored. For the first time, a compilation of thought-provoking essays has been considered for the award, he noted, adding that if thought-provoking literature does not prepare the field for creative literature to flourish, popular literature remains average.
The awards were announced at an executive committee meeting in Guwahati chaired by Sahitya Akademi Chairperson Vishwanath Tiwari. Kadu is one of the 24 authors to be selected for children’s literature category.
The books are selected by a three-member committee. The award is announced only after the executive committee endorses the selection by majority. The books published in the past five years are considered for this award.
Children’s author Madhuri Purandare, authors Kavita Mahajan and Vijaya Rajadhyaksha worked as members of the selection committee.