Noted Kannada Writer Na. D'Souza bags Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2011 for his mini novel ‘Mulugade Urige Bandavaru’( those who arrived at a submerged village’
Mr. Na. D’Souza, one of the most popular writer in Kannada has got several awards in recognition of his contribution to Kannada literature. He has received the Kannada Sahitya Academy Award, Karnataka Rajyotsava Award, Vardhaman Sahitya Prashasti-2006, Alwa’s Nudi Siri Award, Niranjana Sahitya Prashasti and Sandesh Prashasti. He was conferred honorary doctorate by the Kuvempu University, Shimoga in recognition of his contribution to Kannada literature.
Born on June 6, 1937, Na. D’Souza joined the Public Works Department as a second division clerk after his intermediate from the Shimoga Intermediate College. Though he worked in the government department for 36 years, it did not stop him from pursuing his interest in the literary field.
His novels focus on the problems of the poor and the underprivileged in society. Many of his novels, including “Manava” ,”Shivana Dangura”, “Jeeva Kale” “Visha Vartula” “Tiragodina Raitha Makkalu”, “Oddu”, “Kunjalu Kaniveya Kempu Hoovu”, “Jalapatada Sutta”, and “Durgavemba Vyuha” are quite popular. He added new flavor to popular culture.
“Dweepa”, a film directed by Girish Kasaravalli, was based on D’Souza’s novel “Mulugade” and “Kaadina Benki” directed by Suresh Heblikar was also based on D’Souza’s novel won the National Film Awards.
He has made a valuable contribution of 45 novels and more than 20 short stories including “Swargada Baagilalli Naraka”, “Hosa Kathegalu”, and “Giliye Oh Giliye”. His plays “Devarige Dikku” and “Tabbali Mattu Bhootada Eduru Betala” are quite popular. Besides, he has also contributed significantly to children’s literature.
Mr. D’Souza has written biographies of Mother Teresa, Mudugodu Hirannyappa and Gopala Gowda. Significantly Mr. D’Souza has not confined himself only to his literary pursuits if his close association with several movements espousing the cause of the nature and environment in particular and public good in general is any indication.
Mulugade urige Bandavaru (Those who arrived at a submerged Village).
It is poignant short novel written by Na. D’Souza for children. It is an extension of his earlier writings based on a submerged village. Five children Shridhar, Rajiv, Sudarshan, Keshav and Lingaraju, who are friends and studying at Malleshwarm High School , Bangalore decides to go to a village along with Shridhara’s grand father Sheshagiriraya. Actually It is journey from a city ( Bangalore) to a village( Hallimane). On the way to the village, children get an opportunity to see a forest, birds, a lake, fishes and even a crocodile. They also get a chance to travel in a boat and listen to short stories from Sheshagiriraya. Hence their journey to a village was never a boring one.
After reaching a place called –Hallimane (Village house) all five children started exploring village. First, they meet many rural folks like servant Kannappa, Siddappa, Rajappa, a grandma etc. Secondly, they meet nature which includes both animal world and plant world. They enjoy traditional foods including jackfruits and mango gojju, moon light etc.
Interestingly children also decides to visit a local school which is in bad condition. After discussing with teachers, all five children decided to protest for which they got good support from local people including local press. The news reaches the concerned officers and they promised children to improve the situation.
Thus, this mini novel gives a strong message of city children returning to the nature. We may recollect that during these days, children are unable to design their outdoor activities during holidays. Research on children's preferences shows that if children had the design skills to do so, their creations would be completely different from the areas called playgrounds that most adults design for them. Outdoor spaces designed by children would not only be fully naturalized with plants, trees, flowers, water, dirt, sand, mud, animals and insects, but also would be rich with a wide variety of play opportunities of every imaginable type. But unfortunately the lives of children today are much more structured and supervised, with few opportunities for free movements. Their physical boundaries have shrunk. Parents are afraid for their children's safety when they leave the house alone, many children are no longer free to roam their neighborhoods or even their own yards unless accompanied by adults. Furthermore, children's lives have become structured and scheduled by adults, who hold the mistaken belief that this sport or that lesson will make their children more successful as adults.
However, differing from this stand, the novel suggests us that an environmental education needs to start at an early age with hands-on experience with nature. There is considerable evidence that concern for the environment is based on affection for nature that only develops with autonomous, unmediated contact with it. In their early years, children's developmental tendency towards empathy with the natural world needs to be supported with free access to an area of limited size over an extended period of time. It is only by intimately knowing the wonder of nature's complexity in a particular place that leads to a full appreciation of the immense beauty of the planet as a whole.
The author through this mini novel also suggested that natural outdoor environments have three qualities that are unique and appealing to children as play environments - their unending diversity; the fact that they are not created by adults;, and their feeling of timelessness - the landscapes, trees, and rivers. The novel also clarifies that children experience the natural environment differently than adults. Adults typically see nature as background for what they are doing. Children experience nature, not as background for events, but rather as a stimulator and experiential component of their activities. The world of nature is not a scene or even a landscape. Nature for the child is sheer sensory experience. Children judge the natural setting not by its aesthetics, but rather by how they can interact with the environment.