New Delhi: Former Union Minister M P
Veerendrakumar and 23 other authors were on Tuesday presented
the prestigious Sahitya Akademi awards for their literary
works that include travelogue, novels and collection of short
The awards, which were announced in December, were
today presented to the winners at a glittering function here
by Sahitya Akademi President Sunil Gangopadhyay and veteran
literary critic Sitakant Mahapatra. The award comprised a
citation, memento and a cash prize of Rs. one lakh each.
Veerendrakumar (74), Chairman and Managing Director of
`Mathrubhoomi` group of publications, was awarded for his
travelogue `Haimavathabhuvil` in Malayalam.
"It was unexpected. I was quite surprised when the
Sahitya Akademi told me that my work has been selected.
Anyway, I feel happy and appreciate the way the jury has
assessed the work," he said.
`Haimavathabhuvil`, which gives a fascinating overview
of the cultural heritage of India, has already been translated
in Tamil and Rajasthani.
The travelogue, which is currently in its 23rd
edition, has already bagged the prestigious Vayalar Ramavarma
Shitya Award in Kerala and many other awards.
He is the author of at least a dozen titles in
Malayalam. One of his works `Ramante Dukham` has gone into 18
re-prints while another `Amazonum Kure Vyakulathakalum` has
won the Kerala state Sahitya Academy Award.
He was Minister of State for Labour (independent
charge) with additional charge of Urban Affairs in 1997.
Famous poets honoured with the award for the year are
Aurobindo Uzir (Bodo), Arun Sakhardande (Konkani), Gopi
Narayan Pradhan (Nepali), Vanita (Punjabi), Mangat Badal
(Rajasthani), Mithila Prasad Tripathi (Sanskrit), Laxman Dubey
(Sindhi) and Sheen Kaaf Nizam (Urdu).
The well-known novelists who have been selected
include Bani Basu (Begali), Esther David (English), Dhirendra
Mehta (Gujarati) and M Borkanya (Manipuri).
Those who have won awards for their collection of
short stories are Manoj (Dogri), Uday Prakash (Hindi) and
Nanji Nadan (Tamil).
Critics Keshada Mahanta (Assamese), Rahamath Tarikere
(Kannada), Basher Bashir (Kashmiri) and Ashok R Kelkar
(Marathi) have got the award for their books.
Pathani Pattnaik (Oriya) won the honour for his
autobiography and Bhogla Soren (Santali) for his book of play.
Six women and two young authors, who are less than 50
years of age, are among the recipients of the award today.