͂ Madhuri Purandare wins the award for Best Author for Children’s Literature in Marathi ͂
͂ Atanu Roy wins the award for Best Illustrator for Children’s Literature across languages ͂
Mumbai, November 20, 2016: Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts, announces the winners of the ‘Big Little Book Award 2016’ for Best Author in Marathi language as Madhuri Purandare and Best Illustrator across languages as Atanu Roy in the Children’s Literature Category at the 2016 Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest. A first in India, the Big Little Book Award seeks to recognize and honor authors and illustrators, who have written and illustrated stories that actively delight their young readers, make them smile more, open their curious minds to new concepts and cultures, and inspire them to dream big and balance the traditional with the contemporary.
For the 2016 inaugural edition, nominations were invited in the category of authors writing for children in Marathi. Meanwhile illustrators’ entries were not limited to any language. The author’s award will focus on one Indian language every year henceforth.
Children’s literature and books have been a neglected category in Indian publishing, with a handful of publishers striving to publish stories that reflect the multicultural and multilingual world that children grow up in today. Given that children have limited access to original Indian writing in English and other languages, the Big Little Book Award, instituted by Parag, drives home the crucial need of children’s literature that introduces and ties them to Indian culture, heritage and tradition in a fun and engaging manner while remaining contemporary. The idea was to create awareness not just among children and parents but also the publishing industry to promote recognition in this genre. Children are the future, and the more we reward and award children’s books, the richer we will be as a society.
While lauding them for their individual contributions towards enriching and bringing alive the world of books for young minds, Anil Dharker, Founder and Festival Director, Burzis Taraporewala – Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, Tata Trusts & Tara Sabavala- Associate Director, Tata Trusts presented the award to Madhuri Purandare and Atanu Roy in the presence of luminaries of the literary world.
Said Tara Sabavala, Associate Director, Tata Trusts, “Education is one of the key focus areas for us at Tata Trusts. The programs in this portfolio strive to enhance the quality and equity of education. Access to children’s literature of value in Indian languages is central to the Trust’s efforts of widening children’s horizons and building 21st century skills. The Big Little Book Award is our way to recognize talent and encourage more authors and illustrators to engage with children’s literature”.
The jury were in concurrence on the uniqueness of the award, which was instituted to counter the largely neglected space of children’s literature.
Reacting to her win, Madhuri Purandare said, “I am very happy and honoured to receive this award. I would like to congratulate Parag Initiative for recognising children literature on a major literary platform.”
Commenting on his win, Atanu Roy said, “I am very happy to receive this award and too excited to speak. Hopefully this award will encourage illustrators.”
Anil Dharkar, founder and festival director said, “Children’s books are probably the most important component of literature because good children’s book result in young readers who go on to become avid followers of literature when they grow up. The publication of books for children in the West is highly developed with excellent quality & huge variety. Both writers & illustrators combine to produce the best books for children”
In the run up to the awards, the Parag Initiative organised a series of workshops, a book swap for children, interactive reading sessions and panel discussions to bring alive the need to engage with children’s literature, promoting access to quality books and deepen understanding of educators on using children’s literature to promote reading for pleasure.
The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts in association with various partners has worked on development of original books at affordable prices, creating dissemination channels, set up classroom and school libraries and build capacity for young illustrators and librarians with the aim to build reading culture from young age.
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