HYDERABAD: The 17th Yudhvir Memorial Award for 2008 was presented to Shankar S. Melkote of Little Theatre, for his outstanding contribution to the spread of the ‘Written Word’ here on Wednesday.
The award was instituted by Yudhvir Foundation in 1991, in memory of freedom fighter, social worker and journalist late Yudhvir, Founder of Urdu and later Hindi daily Milap.
The Foundation chose Shankar S. Melkote, this year for his contribution to the spread of the Written Word through his ‘Little Theatre’ group which popularised literature reading, said foundation Chairman Narendra Luther, presiding over the award presentation function.
He described Shankar S. Melkote, as a voracious and compulsive reader who had popularised literature through ‘Word and Sound’ by setting up Little Theatre. “It is in recognition of his novel way of dramatising literature through reading, which entertained as well as instructed and inspired people to read great works of literature which the group presented to them through their book reading sessions,” Mr. Luther said.
The Little Theatre gave 140 performances across the country by reading English works of Indian authors like Shashi Deshpande, Jayonta Mahapatra, Paul Zacharia, Ruskin Bond.
Mr. Melkote said the award was not for him but for the Little Theatre, an informal group of people from different walks of life who 12-years-ago decided to dramatise reading of literature, out of concern over declining reading habit in the society. “Written word is sacred and it gives knowledge,” he said.
He thanked all the people, authors and organisations for encouraging their group.
He donated the award amount equally between ‘Hope Trust’, that is running de-addiction programme to counter drug abuse and alcoholism, and ‘Caring Citizens Collective’ an NGO working for welfare of families of farmers who committed suicide. Later the members of ‘Little Theatre’ presented impressive readings from various works that were humorous and thought provoking with profound messages.