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Sparrow Literary Awards

Literary Award 2017

SPARROW Literary Award, instituted by R Thyagarajan, Founder, Shriram Group, was organised by SPARROW in collaboration with the Research Centre for Women’s Studies (RCWS) SNDT Women’s University, on 9th December 2016, at the Mini Auditorium of the Juhu Campus of the University. The SPARROW panel of judges (N Sukumaran, Kannan Sundaram and Ambai) decided to choose the category of autobiography and biography for award this year. Two awards are normally given for Tamil writers and one for a non-Tamil writer. The SPARROW-R Thyagarajan Literary Award 2017 for Tamil were given to Lakshmi M and Stalin Rajangam and the non-Tamil writer award was shared by two writers: Kalyanai Thakur Charal and Ashalata Kamble. The awards were given with the following citations:

LAKSHMI M

Lakshmi M is an activist who has been associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Thamizh Thesiya Periyakkam (Tamil Nationalist Movement) and various women’s struggles. She is currently the Central committee member of the women’s wing of Thamizh Theesiya Periyakkam. Her autobiographical work Latchumi Ennum Payani  is a truthful account of her life and that of women around her both in the movement and outside it. In appreciation of writing a genuine document which draws attention to the lives of women in politics and their attitude towards family, marriage, motherhood and relationships with other women, SPARROW  has great pleasure in giving her the SPARROW Literary Award 2017.

STALIN RAJANGAM

Stalin Rajangam has brought a new perspective to socio-historical research done so far on Dalit history. His painstaking research to reveal biases in writing history and to find hidden historical truths has brought contemporary relevance to Dalit history. By bringing to the public sphere the rare lives and experiences of those who are lost in the annals of history, he has done the important and much needed work of documenting not only the life stories of Dalit personalities but also that of those who have fought for the rights of the Dalit community. For his untiring and meaningful work of documenting Dalit history SPARROW has great pleasure in giving Stalin Rajangam the SPARROW  Literary Award 2017.

ASHALATA KAMBLE


Ashalata Kamble, an activist, writer and a staunch Ambedkarite, has been working with the Dalits for the past 35 years. Her books on the history of women and her poems have been an inspiration to many young aspiring writers. Her lifelong work has been to make visible the works of women like Bahinabai and Savitribai Phule and their literary contributions which have inspired her to be a writer, teacher and also an activist. Her biography Amachi Aai on her mother is a continuation of this work and an elaboration of her efforts to redefine motherhood in the context of the lives of women of the working class and their struggles to be mothers. In appreciation of her lifelong work for the Dalit cause and her biographical work Amachi Aai published in 2010 depicting what motherhood means to a working class woman SPARROW has great pleasure in giving Ashalata Kamble the SPARROW Literary Award 2017.

KALYANI THAKUR CHARAL


With her poems, essays, stories, biography and now an autobiography Kalyani Thakur is the leading Dalit voice from West Bengal and her name stands out among the Bengali writers. Through her writings which voice the pain, suffering, oppression, struggles and achievements of the Dalit community and as editor of two magazines Neer Writupatra and  Chathurtha Dunia  Kalyani Thakurhas worked tirelessly to draw attention to the life experiences and history of her disadvantaged community.Her autobiography Ami Kano Charal Likhi documents the life of a Dalit woman in rural and urban Bengal and records her views on feminism in India and its stand on Dalit women and Dalit feminism. For her vigorous and tenacious work in making the Bengali Dalit voice heard and for her autobiographical work which is a historical document of her life and times SPARROW has great pleasure in giving Kalyani Thakur the SPARROW  Literary Award 2017.

   
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
 
       
Ashalata Kamble receiving the award from Urmila Pawar
Kalyani Thakur Charal receiving the award from Urmila Pawar. Lakshmi M receiving the award from Urmila Pawar  
       
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
 
       
Stalin Rajangam receiving the award from Urmila Pawar Students of Swar Sanskruti Music Academy performing 1 Students of Swar Sanskruti Music Academy performing. 2  
       
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
 
       
Students of Swar Sanskruti Music Academy performing. The Awardees with C S Lakshmi & Urmila Pawar    
   
   
Literary Award 2016
 
   

SPARROW Literary Award, instituted by R Thyagarajan, Founder, Shriram Group, was organised by SPARROW in collaboration with the Research Centre for Women’s Studies (RCWS) SNDT Women’s University, on 10 December 2016, at the Mini Auditorium of the Juhu Campus of the University. This year the awards were for translation from an Indian language to Tamil and for translation from a foreign language to Tamil.

Eminent Tulu writer, Dr Suneetha Shetty gave away the awards to Kulachal M Yoosuf for his translations from Malayalam to Tamil, Gowri Kirubanandan, for her translations from Telugu to Tamil. Payani (Sridharan Madhusudhanan) for his translations from Chinese to Tamil. We missed Payani (Sridharan Madhusudhanan) an Indian diplomat currently posted in Beijing, who could not attend the function. His award was sent to him later. The well attended literary evening concluded with a very enjoyable music session by Reshma Gidh. SPARROW congratulates the awardees and thanks them and Dr Suneetha Shetty for their gracious presence at the function.

 
   
   
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
 
       
Chief guest Dr Suneetha Shetty addressing the gathering
Performance by Reshma Gidh L to R Gowri Kirubanandan, Kulachal M Yoosuf,Dr C S Lakshmi (holding Payani’s award) and Dr Suneetha Shetty  
       
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
 
       
L to R Dr C S Lakshmi, Shyamala Madhav, Gowri Kirubanandan, Mithra Venkatraj, Dr Divya Pandey & Dr Suneetha Shetty    
   
   

Literary Award 2015

 
   

The SPARROW Literary Award Event on 12th December 2015, was a warm event with friends and well-wishers who came to demonstrate their appreciation for all that we do. And to give away the awards this year we had our own Neela Bhagwat, the well-known Gwalior gharana musician, whose music has kept many of us going in the last several years of struggle and celebration.

This Literary Award has been instituted by Mr. R Thyagarajan, co-founder, Shriram Group. This year we had a few more friends who came forward to support additional expenses. SPARROW trustees Dr Divya Pandey, Dr Usha Thakkar and friend and supporter from the US, Aravindan Kannaiyan and our well-wishers from Chennai, Bharathi Chandru and Chandru contributed to the event. The panel of juries this year were the same as last year: Publisher of the literary magazine Kalachuvadu, Mr. Kannan Sundaram, poet and editor of Kalachuvadu, Mr. N Sukumaran, and Dr C S Lakshmi (Ambai). The event was held in collaboration with the Research Centre for Women's Studies, SNDT University.

The awardees this year are writers we admire a great deal.

Anandh is a psychotherapist and is a writer whose poetry has inspired many and whose poetry has given a new dimension to contemporary Tamil poetry.

Anar, comes from the Eastern province of Sri Lanka and writes about what it is to be a Muslim woman in a war-torn country and her poetry is about how a language can alter life.

Vimmi Sadarangani is one of us and we tend to take her for granted but we also know about the great work she is doing as a writer and lover of Sindhi language and we respect and love her for that. She is a poet who keeps Sindhi language alive and whom Sindhi poetry has kept alive.

The acceptance speeches of all the three writers traced their writing careers and spoke about how close poetry was to their everyday life and its happenings. Awards have come their way but much more than that, poetry has kept them going through the highs and lows of life.

SPARROW had arranged for them to stay at a service apartment and the writers and their partners Sashi Anand and Mohammed Azeem and Vimmi's sister Bharti had enough time and space to interact. Vimmi, as usual, took over the task of taking them around and Bharti was clicking away with her mobile phone almost every occasion and every movement of all of them. They enjoyed a film together and got introduced to pav bhaji, chole bhature, sev puri, kesar falooda and the famous sev barfi of Chandru's. Unfortunately they went to the Versova beach in the morning when the slum colony there uses it as an open air toilet! Other than that they had lot of fun.

The event ended with the soulful music of Neela Bhagwat who explained and sang the poems of Soyarabai, Muktabai, and Kanhopatra saint poets of Maharashtra. The venue then shifted to Dr C S Lakshmi's small flat with the awardees and a few friends. Anar and her husband had to leave

 
       
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat.
SPARROW Family!!!
Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani
 
       
Vimmi Sadarangani accepting the award from chief guest Neela Bhagwat. SPARROW Family!!! Anandh, Anar & Vimmi Sadarangani  

Literary Award 2014

On 27 December, 2014 we started Literary Award event to become an annual event of SPARROW. SPARROW Literary Award was instituted by R Thyagarajan of Shriram Groups. The jury members were Ambai, N Sukumaran and Kannan Sundaram.
Su Thamizhselvi, K N Senthil and Meghana Pethe honoured us by accepting the 2014 SPARROW Literary Award. Well-known writer, Shanta Gokhale, gave away the awards and spoke warmly about her relationship with SPARROW.

In her acceptance speech, Su Thamizhselvi introduced herself as a young scion who has come in the tradition of women writers like Avvaiyar, Velliveethiyar, Vennikuyathiyar, Nachellaiyar, Karaikal Ammayar and Andal. She spoke about the rural background she comes from and how it has made her familiar with the pain, poverty and hard work that is part of a woman's life. "As a woman, I can clearly feel the pain experienced by women. As someone who has held in her palms the tears of women, I am sensitive enough to understand the intensity and heat of those tears," she said. Describing her literary journey as one involving "search, reaching and perplexity," she said that the award and the occasion will remain one of the greatest moments of her life.

In his acceptance speech, K N Senthil remembered with warmth Sundara Ramasamy and N Sukumaran, two writers he considers his teachers. Speaking of writing and the award, he said, "Writing is made possible through continuous practice but it is a bird that does not obey its master. It wants to measure the entire sky with its small wings…. I believe that the reward of writing is reaching somewhere. An award is its recognised form. There are many new generation writers in Tamil who are working hard and are leaving their imprints on literature. I am happy to receive this award as one of them, on their behalf."

In her acceptance speech Meghana Pethe said that she was happy to receive the SPARROW award because she was the first recipient of this award. She added that the joy of receiving the award was "almost equivalent to being the first love of a worthy lover" and that the "honour of being the first has a sanctity which holds good even today, although some other sanctities have been rightly questioned and declared debatable as of now by women all over the world." She spoke of writing being a lonely and painful journey and how often the process of writing is excruciatingly boring. Accepting an award from a panel of writers, she said, made the award all the more valuable. She ended by saying that this award would prove to be a trigger for her second cycle as a writer which was "likely to commence anytime now."

 
C S Lakshmi, K N Senthil, Meghana Pethe, Shanta Gokhale and Su Thamizhselvi
Meghana Pethe
     
C S Lakshmi, K N Senthil, Meghana Pethe, Shanta Gokhale and Su Thamizhselvi Meghana Pethe  
     
Su Thamizhselvi
K N Senthil
 
     
Su Thamizhselvi K N Senthil