Poet’s house to get an upgrade

IOC will fund renovation of Govinda Pai memorial, says Moily

The residential premises of the late Kannada poet Manjeshwara Govinda Pai will soon be converted into a full-fledged cultural and literary centre. Union Minister of Petroleum M. Veerappa Moily has promised financial assistance for the project.

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) foundation would meet the expenses to renovate the Govinda Pai memorial building into a museum, library and an auditorium. The initiative was part of the ‘Gulivindu’ project, launched by the Kerala and Karnataka governments, to develop the poet’s ancestral house here into a national level centre of literature, culture, and research, Mr. Moily said. ‘Gulivindu’ (flock of parrots) is a collection of poems penned by Govinda Pai.

Mr. Moily was speaking here on Sunday after opening the guest house ‘Vaishakhi’ built at around Rs.14 lakh on the premises of the poet’s house. He also inaugurated the works on another auditorium ‘Saketha’.

The project works would be completed by March next year and were scheduled to be opened on March 23, the birth anniversary day of the late poet, who was born in 1883. He died on September 6, 1963.

“The IOC foundation has earmarked Rs.26 crore to provide facelift to museums in States such as Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, and will help upgrade the Govinda Pai memorial building too,” the Minister said. Paying tributes to the writer who had mastered nearly 25 languages, including English, German, French, Latin and Japanese, and Indian languages like Kannada, Konkini, Tulu, Malayalam, Urdu, Hindi, Marathi, and Bengali, Mr. Moily said Govinda Pai, who was conferred the title of ‘Rashtrakavi’ by the erstwhile Madras Presidency in 1949, had played a major role in national integration.

“His passion for languages was confined not just to Kannada, Malayalam or English. He should be remembered for his literary contribution to the entire nation,” he said.

The district administration should hold an exhaustive language workshop by involving literary luminaries of both Karnataka and Kerala. The petroleum ministry would meet the expenses for the programme that would facilitate interaction by literary scholars from the region, he said.

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