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Akhra awards go to Santhali writers

Ranchi, April 10: Santhali playwright and winner of Sahitya Akademi Award 2010 Bhogla Soren and Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2010 awardee Boyha Bishwanath Tudu were today conferred the Akhra 2011 Sahitya Award.

The annual award ceremony, constituted by Jharkhand Bhasha Sahitya Sanskriti for works in tribal language, was held at Suchna Bhavan in Ranchi today.

Jamshedpur resident Bhogla Soren, whose Santhali play Rahi Rawan Kana won him the Sahitya Akademi Award 2010, said he loved depicting the tribal way of life through his writings.

Soren balances his job as a BSNL official and his love of writing with equal elan. “Love and its pangs and sorrows of displacement are my favourite topics,” he said.

Soren has penned five plays, two essays, a novel and a book on Santhali songs. “I have also written two books in Hindi,” he added.

Soren, however, stressed that the state government needed to institute tribal languages as the medium of instruction in the state schools. “Tribal and regional languages are getting more and more isolated by the day, mostly due to state apathy. Getting teachers to teach Santhali children in their own mother tongue will go a long way in preventing school dropouts and in developing the language,” he stressed.

Bishwanath Tudu, (42), an officer with Life Insurance Corporation of India at Rourkela is also the recipient of the Pandit Raghunath Murmu Fellowship for his pioneering work in Santhali language.

Tudu has penned nine novels and 42 books, mostly children’s literature. This earned him the Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2010, instituted by Sahitya Akademi.

“I began writing when I was just 18. My first novel Hai Ra Chando Likhon has been developed into a school textbook. Through my writings I tell people, especially children, not to be misled by superstitions and see things for themselves. I have written two books in Oriya too,” Tudu told The Telegraph.

He added that more and more tribals need to read and write in their language to help it develop. “If people do not read and write in their own language, there is no point in blaming others,” Tudu remarked.

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