Makkala Janapriya Sahitya for kids unveiled

Makkala Janapriya Sahitya for kids unveiled

(L-R) Himanshu Giri, CEO, Suzanne Singh, Chairperson and Kanchan Bannerjee, Trustee of Pratham Books, Usha Mukunda, Consultant, Tata Trusts and Vivek Shanbhag, author, playwright, and curator of the poems featured in ‘Makkala Janapriya Sahitya’ releasing the set of five books in Ritz-Carlton.

Pratham Books, launched ‘Makkala Janapriya Sahitya’, a set of five children’s books showcasing the works of five of Kannada literature’s greatest poets, Panje Mangesh Rao, K V Puttappa, Dr G P Rajaratnam, Dr Siddayya Puranik and B K Tirumalamma.

“The lovely lines in these picture books will captivate the minds of children while the beautiful illustrations will delight their imaginations,” said Vivek Shanbag, author, playwright and curator of the poems in ‘Makkala Janapriya Sahitya’

Pratham Books started StoryWeaver, a digital platform providing open access to thousands of multilingual stories for free and Donate-a-Book, a unique crowdfunding platform that’s helping build libraries for the children who need them the most.

“The books were sent to me for proofreading and I became very enthusiastic as I felt they really recreated those illustrations which is now apt for the modern day kids. The old illustrations were in fine print with black and white elements but today these look like picture books, which is a brilliant piece,” said Kanchan Bannerjee, Trustee, Pratham Books.

“Books are for everyone to share. We really want to take that path and under creative commons, we have put stories in the StoryWeaver. People can even mix stories and come out with their own book We also had a programme on mobile where people who do not have a laptop or computer can call a given number and the person on the other end will narrate a story,” she said.

Sharing views of these authors the family members also had few things to say:

“The person behind this should be credited today, Leela Garady, who lamented loud and long about a lack of Kannada books of original writing in Kannada for children. When we were young there were no picture books except Russian books. So this tribute should actually go to Leela Garady and Tata trust, who initiated Kalike and Pratham Books took up the baton,” said Usha Mukunda, Consultant, Tata Trust and niece of G P Rajaratnam.

Lakshmi, a retired teacher in B K Thirumalamma’s school, narrated a poem on Thirumalamma where she spoke on her importance for service and duty and how she spread love and happiness becoming a household name in those days. Tirumalamma’s poems were on addition, subtraction, division and multiplication as well as poems explaining gravitation.

“Siddayya Puranik was not only an author but also an IAS officer, a writer who wrote prose, poems, vachanas, plays, literature for children. We were in Hyderabad before and I was probably in Class 3. There to flourish Kannada language, Manvi Narasimha Rao, Siddayya Puranik, and Prof B K Bhimsen Rao were working together. Once we had gone to Bhimsen Rao’s home and he said to my father to write a poem for the kids. My dad said he has not written anything on kids in his entire life. Hearing this, Joshi locked the room and said that he will not allow dad to come out till he writes a poem for kids. After half an hour my father came out with two poems, one is ‘ajjana kolidu nannaya kudire’ and the other was ‘karadige thaka thaka,” said Vijaya, eldest daughter of Siddayya Puranik.