Hyderabad: Vasala Narasaiah, the noted author of children’s literature from Telangana, won the prestigious Bal Sahitya Puraskar for the year 2017. The Kendra Sahitya Akademi announced the award on Thursday, recognising his lifetime contribution to children’s Telugu literature over a period of 35 years.
He will be conferred with a citation and a cash prize of Rs 50,000 towards the award in New Delhi on November 14.
The Bal Sahitya Puraskar is being presented since 2010, in 24 languages, to writers who are involved in children’s literature.
Narasaiah won several awards earlier, including the State Bala Sahitya Puraskar in 2009, presented by Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University.
Born in 1942 at Chavulamaddi village of the erstwhile Karimnagar district, Narasaiah retired as postal superintendent in 2002. He started his literary work at the age of 12, and his early works mostly involved mythological plays and poetry.
However, he soon turned to children’s literature and observed that there were not many works in the genre, especially in the Telugu language. Since 1997, he immersed himself in children’s literature and published over 36 books of stories, songs, poems, riddles, book reviews, essays and translations.
Numerous stories and songs written by him for children were published in Telugu newspapers and children’s magazines.
The 74-year-old writer thanked the Sahitya Akademi for the recognition bestowed upon him. Such awards inspire him to continue his work, he said, and added that many authors take up children’s literature owing to such recognition.
He emphasised the need for publication of more children’s literature, especially in the Telugu language, for renewing children’s interest in books.
Besides continuing his literary journey, Narasaiah also felicitates children’s authors through ‘Vasala Narasaiah Bala Sahiti Puraskar’ since 2009, in a bid to encourage more writers to take up children’s literature.