November 18, 2018

Announcing the winners of the 3rd edition of the ‘Big Little Book Award’ instituted by Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts

  • Mr. Nagesh Hegde wins the award in the Kannada language
  • Ms. Nina Sabnani wins illustrator across languages in children’s literature category

Mumbai, November 18, 2018: In its third edition, the Big Little Book Award 2018, in association with Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, announced the winner for Author (Kannada) to Mr. Nagesh Hegde; and Illustrator across languages to Ms. Nina Sabnani for significant contribution to children’s literature in India.

A first-of-its-kind in India, instituted under Parag initiative of Tata Trusts to promote children’s literature, the Big Little Book Award seeks to recognise and honour authors and illustrators, who have made original and lasting contribution to children’s literature in India. For authors, the focus of this award is on one Indian language every year. The first two edition of the award focused on Marathi and Bengali respectively. In its third year, the nominations were invited for authors writing for children in Kannada, while the illustrators’ entries across the years were not limited to any language.

“I am happy and surprised that the Big Little Book Award recognizes my work. The fact that the award focuses on regional literature and puts it on a national platform is commendable. This atmosphere is sure to motivate other regional authors writing for children. And it is an inspiration for me to devote my time to children’s works all the more. I am very grateful to Parag”, said Mr. Nagesh Hegde, Winner of the Author Award (Kannada)

“I am glad and thankful on behalf of all Karnataka people who projected me as a Kannadiga author. I am very grateful to teachers and those who nominated me. For all my years, I have been writing plays, songs, cartoons, non-fiction works because teachers, children and parents wanted it. I am happy to cater to this demand,” Hegde added.

In 2017, the author award went to Ms. Nabaneeta Dev Sen for her contribution to Bengali children’s literature and the illustrator award went to Ms. Proiti Roy.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the prestigious BLBA award this year. And even as one works without expectations for such honours, I am happily surprised, humbled and grateful for this recognition. I thank the jury and BLBA for investing their trust in me. Thank You!” said Ms. Nina Sabnani, Winner of the Illustrator Award.

The awards aim to highlight the importance of reading and good quality children’s literature in the lives of children. They aim to foster an environment where stakeholders such as publishers invest in the promotion of original, thought-provoking content in regional Indian languages for children. The jury acknowledged how the awards were a step closer to fueling reading habits in children, will influence the degree to which they participate in meaningful discussions and debates on important issues that influence society at large.

“Having access to books in the mother tongue or home language is especially important. Studies have shown that gains that can be achieved in educational outcomes when children learn in languages they speak and understand. Through the author awards Parag wants to acknowledge and encourage original writing for children in Indian languages,” said Ms. Swaha Sahoo, Head - Parag Initiative, Tata Trusts.

While lauding their individual contributions towards enriching and bringing alive the beautiful world of books for young minds, Mr. Anil Dharker, Founder and Festival Director; Swaha Sahoo - Head, Parag Initiative, Tata Trusts presented the award to Mr. Nagesh Hegde and Ms Nina Sabnani at the Grand Finale in the presence of luminaries of the literary world.

Mr. Anil Dharkar, Founder and Festival director, Tata Literature Live! said, “We are delighted to have The Big Little Book awards as part of the Festival platform. Encouraging children to read is a critical factor in both their development and that of literature overall, and starting out in their mother tongue lays the foundation for familiarity with, and enjoyment of, the written word. I am glad that this year the Award is for children’s writing in Kannada, a language with a rich literary heritage.”

In the run up to the award, the Parag Initiative organised a series of workshops, a talk, and panel discussions to bring alive the need to engage with children’s literature, promoting access to quality books and deepen understanding of educators on leveraging children’s literature to promote reading for pleasure.

About (winning author)
Nagesh Hegde is an Indian author, journalist, environmentalist, publisher and professor who writes on science and environment in Kannada. Born in a village 'Bakkemane' in North Kanara District of Karnataka, he holds a M.Sc. from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He was Professor of Environment Geology in Nainital. He has worked with Prajavani daily as science and development journalist before moving on to Sudha Weekly as a feature writer. Nagesh Hegde has worked towards popularising science among rural communities and is equally committed to language and biodiversity. His writings in Kannada have become textbook lessons from primary school to various universities in Karnataka. He has received highest awards in journalism and literature including the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award.

About (winning illustrator)
Nina Sabnani is an Indian artist and a storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to tell her stories. She graduated in painting from the Dept. of Fine Arts, Vadodara, and received a Masters Degree from Syracuse University, New York, which she pursued as a Fulbright fellow in 1997. Her Doctoral Research at the Industrial Design Centre (IDC), IIT Bombay, focused on Rajasthan’s Kaavad storytelling tradition. After teaching for two decades at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, Nina has made Mumbai her home. Currently, she is a Professor at IDC.

The ‘Big Little Book Award’ has been instituted by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts and ‘Literature Live!’ It recognises authors and illustrators who have written and illustrated stories that connect with children, make them laugh, encourage them to think, introduce them to new ideas and cultures, are inclusive and balance the traditional with the contemporary.
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About Parag Initiative:
The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts is driven by a belief in the transformative power of reading, working to ensure that children across India can appreciate and enjoy reading, especially in diverse vernacular languages. Parag’s three pronged model for sourcing, publishing and disseminating children’s literature has catalysed the children’s literature, reading and literacy ecosystem towards encouraging joyful reading among children and youth. Parag works to enable talent by building capacity of librarians and educators to encourage reading among children through its Library Educator’s Course. It supports children’s illustrators through the Riyaaz Academy for Illustrators. It expands availability of quality reading material for children by developing high quality, diverse literature and building long-term sustained partnerships with diverse publishers, authors, illustrators. Parag makes reading accessible in last-mile communities by providing resources and tools that enable children to access and enjoy high-quality diverse literature.

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About Tata Trusts:
Since its inception in 1892, the Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organization, have played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, energy, rural upliftment, urban poverty alleviation, and arts, craft and culture. Tata Trusts’ programmes, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country.

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