New Delhi: A travelogue by former Union Minister M P Veerendrakumar along with 15 other works of literature by various authors have been selected for this year's Sahitya Akademi awards. The awards were recommended by distinguished jury members representing 22 Indian languages and approved by the executive board of the Sahitya Akademi which met here today under its President Sunil Gangopadhyay.
Veerendrakumar (74), Chairman and Managing Director of 'Mathrubhoomi' group of publications, was awarded for his travelogue 'Haimavathabhuvil' in Malayalam. He is the author of at least a dozen titles in Malayalam. One of his works 'Ramante Dukham' has gone into 18 re-prints while another 'Amazonum Kure Vyakulathakalum' has won the Kerala state Sahitya Academy Award. He was Minister of State for Labour (independent charge) with additional charge of Urban Affairs in 1997.
Famous poets honoured with the award for the year are Aurobindo Uzir (Bodo), Arun Sakhardande (Konkani), Gopi Narayan Pradhan (Nepali), Vanita (Punjabi), Mangat Badal (Rajasthani), Mithila Prasad Tripathi (Sanskrit), Laxman Dubey (Sindhi) and Sheen Kaaf Nizam (Urdu), Akademi Secretary Agrahara Krishna Murthy said.
The well-known novelists who have been selected include Bani Basu (Begali), Esther David (English), Dhirendra Mehta (Gujarati) and M Borkanya (Manipuri).
Those who have won awards for their collection of short stories are Manoj (Dogri), Uday Prakash (Hindi) and Nanji Nadan (Tamil). Critics Keshada Mahanta (Assamese), Rahamath Tarikere (Kannada), Basher Bashir (Kashmiri) and Ashok R Kelkar (Marathi) have got the award for their books. Pathani Pattnaik (Oriya) won the honour for his autobiography and Bhogla Soren (Santali) for his book of play.