Sahitya Akademi Awards 2021: Goreti Venkanna, George Onakkoor, Ambai among winners

While Goreti Venkanna won the award for his poetry collection ‘Vallanki Taalam’, Ambai was awarded for her short story collection ‘Sivappu Kazhutthudan Oru Pachai Paravai.’
Sahitya Akademi Awards 2021 Winners Ambai and Goreti Venkanna
Sahitya Akademi Awards 2021 Winners Ambai and Goreti Venkanna
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Noted Telugu poet Goreti Venkanna, Tamil writer Ambai, Kannada writer DS Nagabhushana, Konkani poet Sanjiv Verenkar, and Malayalam writer George Onakkoor were among the 20 names announced for the Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 on Thursday, December 30. The annual awards, given in 20 Indian languages, included seven books of poetry, two novels, five short stories, two plays, one book each of biography, autobiography, criticism and epic poetry.

Goreti Venkanna won the award for his poetry collection Vallanki Taalam. Ambai was awarded for her short story collection Sivappu Kazhutthudan Oru Pachai Paravai. DS Nagabhushana won for the biography Gandhi Kathana, while George Onakkoor was awarded for his autobiography Hrudayaragangal. Sanjiv Verenkar won the award for his Konkani poetry collection Raktachandan

Other winners of the award include Namita Gokhale in English for her novel Things to Leave Behind, Daya Prakash Sinha in Hindi for a play, Wali Mohd Aseer Kashtawari in Kashmiri for his work in criticism and Chhabilal Upadhyaya in Nepali for his work of epic poetry. Mwdai Gahai (Bodo), Hrushikesh Mallick (Odia), Meethesh Nirmohi (Rajasthani), Vindeshwariprasad Mishr 'Vinay' (Sanskrit), Arjun Chawla (Sindhi) were also named as winners for poetry.

Other winners include Anuradha Sarma Pujari (Assamese), Bratya Basu (Bengali), Raj Rahi (Dogri), Kiran Gurav (Marathi), Khalid Hussain (Punjabi) and Niranjan Hansda (Santali). The awards for Gujarati, Maithili, Manipuri and Urdu languages will be announced at a later date, the Akademi said in a statement.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao conveyed his greetings to poet and Telangana Legislative Council Member (MLC) Goreti Venkanna. The CM said the poetry of Goreti Venkanna, which unveiled the day-to-day problems of life with a touch of social philosophy before everyone's eyes, has mirrored the universal man's pain. KCR further hailed Venkanna for beautifully unveiling the umbilical relationship between human life and nature, relationship between man and other animals and birds. 

He further said Venkanna, through his literature, made the "scent of Telangana soil" get universal recognition. The poet during the separate Telangana Statehood movement had played a key role through his songs and literature. The award to Venkanna's literature is an award given to the living philosophy of a common Telangana man, KCR added.

Eighty-year-old George Onakkoor, a retired professor of Malayalam at the prestigious Mar Ivanios College in Kerala, is known for his novels, short stories, film scripts and also a travelogue. He was also a former Director of Kerala State Institute of Children's Literature, the State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications, and the Kerala State Literacy Council. He also served as the first non-official Chairman of the State Resource Centre.

In his long literary career, he has received numerous awards, including the Kesava Dev Centenary Memorial Award, Thakazhi Sahithya Award, C Achutha Menon Award, Mother Teresa Award, KCBC Award, and the Kerala Shree Award. He is a two-time recipient of the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award.

The Akademi said that the books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in the concerned languages in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose.

"According to the procedure, the Executive Board declared the awards on the basis of unanimous selections made by the jurors or selection made on the basis of majority vote. The awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of Award (between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2019)," the Akademi said.

The award, which will include a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and an amount of Rs 1,00,000, will be presented at the award presentation function which will be held at a later date.

With IANS inputs 

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