William Dalrymple, Devika Cariapa, Anita Anand, Vinitha R, Nandita da Cunha and Devashish Makhija have been named recipients of the Neev Book Award 2021 for their works.
The Neev Literature Festival announced the winners of the awards that showcase and celebrate outstanding children’s literature in a virtual ceremony inaugurated by the legendary Ruskin Bond. Vinitha R received the award for “Ammu and the Sparrows” (early childhood category); Nandita da Cunha for “The Miracle of Sunderbaag Street” (Emerging Readers); Devika Cariapa, William Dalrymple and Anita Anand for “The Adventures of Kohinoor” (Junior Readers); and Devashish Makhija for “Oonga” (Young Adult). The winners received a trophy, a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each and a citation.
The jury was made up of educators Colin Kelman, Anuradha Ruhil Barua, Dhooleka Raj and Myra Garces-Bacsal; writers Rasil Ahuja, Gita Vardarajan and Kamakshi Murti; and teacher-librarians Katie Day and Nadine Bailey. According to the jury, the awards honor all those involved in the creation of children’s literature on India.
“We applaud your contributions to building a rich body of work showcasing the diversity of Indian lives and Indian stories.
“The Neev Book Award recognizes outstanding writings that lead to a deeper and more complete understanding of the complexity of Indian lives and histories. The award aims to raise national and global awareness of original and distinguished children’s literature from India and its Diaspora. The award is a platform to discover voices with fresh, different and yet relevant perspectives, ”he said.
Kavita Gupta-Sabharwal, co-founder and curator of the Neev Literature Festival, said the awards are an important part of a mission to “achieve a truly global curation for children, reflecting different identities, including theirs; it is essential to develop humanity, originality and imagination ”.
The awards started in 2017 for finding great Indian children’s books, and over the past four years the stories have quickly moved beyond traditional themes of adventure, mythology and nostalgia, she said. .
Prior to the presentation ceremony, there was a conversation between Bond and jury member Kelman around “Ruskin stories, stories from India”. Bond spoke about his influences, his creative choices, his motivations for writing, the changes in the landscape and his observations on writing for children in India. A panel discussion was also held where shortlisted authors spoke about contemporary Indian stories set in a changing and rapidly growing India.