Origin: Formed in 2012 and formally inaugurated in March 2013, the Konkani Sahitya Akademi, Kerala, is said to be one of the youngest kids on the cultural block. Kochi was chosen to be the headquarters of the Akademi considering the fact that it boasts a sizable share of the Konkani speaking community. The Akademi has a general council of 21 members and an executive board with nine members nominated by the State government.

For the lovers of the Konkani language in general and writers (though limited in number) in particular, the formation of the Akademi is truly a dream come true. “The entire Konkani speaking community is jubilant at the formation of Konkani Sahitya Akademi and we are grateful to the government for meeting a long standing demand,” remarks Payyannur Ramesh Pai, chairman of the Akademi.

Activities: Though quite young, the Konkani Sahitya Akademi has listed out several objectives. In an attempt to build a creative liaison with the Malayalam language, the Akademi has since published a Konkani translation of Malayalam short stories by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer in June 2013. The book, which happens to be the Akademi’s maiden publication, is a collection of nine short stories translated by late Prof. R. K. Rao. The book is titled Basheeraalyo Kaanyo. Konkani language was included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution in August 1992 and to commemorate the historic day of national recognition, Konkani organisations across the country celebrate August 20 as ‘Konkani Manyata Divas’. The Konkani Sahitya Akademi too has taken the initiative to celebrate the day in a modest way this year. It has just floated a contest for arriving at a logo. Implementing projects for promoting Konkani language, art, literature and culture is of utmost priority.

The Akademi also aims to streamline its activities by organising seminars and exhibitions, publication of books, journals, reference literature and undertaking translation of outstanding works in Konkani language, providing financial assistance to literary and cultural institutions for their activities and to writers and scholars for publication of their works.

Impact: With the formation of Konkani Sahitya Akademi, a minority language such as Konkani could acquire a recognition which was long overdue.

Getting in touch: To know more about the Konkani Sahitya Akademi and its cultural activities, call 9847973039 (Chairman) or 97445 74578 (Member Secretary). Email: Konkani.sahitya.akademi@gmail.com. You can also log on to www.konkanisahitya-