Lok Nayak Foundation award presented to the writer
The award carries Rs.1 lakh in cash and citation.'Gender bias inspired me to take to writing'
VISAKHAPATNAM: Journalist Kuldip Nayar has regretted that the benefits of freedom were yet to reach the common man nearly six decades after India attained Independence.
Participating as chief guest at a function organised to honour renowned Telugu writer Vasireddy Sita Devi with the Lok Nayak Foundation Award, here on Thursday, he lamented that many villages still do no have access to basic amenities like safe drinking water. The growth rate of 10 per cent to 15 per cent, which was being talked about, reflected only the development of the privileged few at the top. He suggested that a study should be made to find out who had benefited after the implementation of economic reforms 15 years ago. "If this is the state of affairs, we have not only betrayed the Mahatma but also our Independence," he said.
Referring to the clashes between Hindus and Muslims, he said that `tolerance' and `secularism' which had held Indians together for centuries and helped it in the path of progress, was slowly giving way to intolerance and hatred. He felt that intolerance of any kind be it in the name of region, religion or caste would fragment the country and hinder its progress.
Mr. Kuldip Nayar expressed concern at the media and the judiciary tilting towards the establishment and felt that it would halt the progress of the nation. He said that social justice should be achieved through peaceful means and efforts should be made to realise Gandhiji's dream of providing minimum standard of living to every citizen of the country.
Former Karnataka Governor V.S. Rama Devi described Vasireddy Sita Devi as one among the few great Telugu writers who had contributed immensely to Telugu literature in a career spanning over four decades.
Former Mayor Rajana Ramani said that in her very first novel `Adavi Malle', Vasireddy had depicted the sufferings of the poor and her second one `Samata' had won the AP Sahitya Akademi Award. Founder president of the Lok Nayak Foundation Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad briefed about the objective of the foundation. The award carries Rs.1 lakh in cash and a citation.
Replying to the felicitation, Ms. Vasireddy Sita Devi felt that a writer should contribute to the progress of society through literature. The gender discrimination she had seen as a child had inspired her to take to writing to reflect on contemporary social issues. She said that she regarded the foundation award as `Gnanapeeth Award'.
Former MP M.V.V.S. Murthy, Avanigedda MLA M. Buddha Prasad, former Mayor Sabbam Hari and Chairman of Vignan Educational Institutions L. Rathaiah were among those who spoke.