Mumbai, May 03, 2010: Padma Binani Foundation, a government recognized, non profit, cultural organization today announced Prof. Dhiruben Patel as the recipient of the prestigious 4th Vatsalya Award 2009 at a glittering function in Goa. His Excellency,The Governor of Goa, Dr. S. S. Sidhu presented the award to Prof.Dhiruben Patel in the presence of a number of dignitaries like Mr. Nana Chudasama, Former Sheriff of Mumbai, Dr.P.S.Pasricha, Former Director General of Police, Maharashtra, Mr.Chandra Mohan, Industrialist and Smt. Padma Binani, Chairperson & Founder, Padma Binani Foundation. The Honorable Chief Minister, Shri Digambar Kamat was also present at the ceremony. The Vatsalya award consists of a citation from Padma Binani Foundation and a cheque of one lac rupees.
The foundation has bestowed this honour to Prof. Dhiruben Patel for her outstanding contribution in the field of children’s literature and her various books for children. The selection committee for the Vatsalya Awards consisted of Dr.Nutan Jani, Mr.Jaidev Shukla and Mr.Nitin Mehta under the able guidance of Smt. Padma Binani and Dr Ramji Tiwari. A total of 52 entries in Gujarati language were received by the panel. Each entry was individually scored by the judges and then summed to arrive at the name of the awardee. Prior to Prof.Dhiruben Patel, Prof. Anant Bhave from Maharashtra, Dr. Poovannan from Tamil Nadu and Prof. Hari Krishna Devsare from New Delhi were also honoured with this prestigious award in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively.
While speaking at the occasion, Smt. Padma Binani, Chairperson, Padma Binani Foundation said, “I on behalf of the Foundation congratulate Prof. Dhiruben Patel for her noteworthy contribution to the field of children literature. Dhiruben – is one of the very few Gujarati writers who has dedicated her life in literature field and for the last 70 years has sizably contributed to the children’s literature in multiple arenas.”
Gujarati is the most vibrant language in Indian Literature. Since the 11th century, it is one of the most popular spoken languages not only in India, but also has spread across different continents. On the other side, Children’s fiction is an imaginative creation of a cultural space in which writers find ways of exploring what they want to convey to children and about them to the society. It is an arena in which children and adults can engage in various kinds of shared and dynamic discourse. Dhiruben Patel has very effectively used the Gujarati Literature to encourage the noble ideas in children and delicately tried to mould them into adults of character.
Music is the second focus area of the Foundation and is being developed under wing called Suranjali. Music is an integral part of Indian culture and society and in Suranjali there are works on folk, devotional and classical music.
Smt. Padma Binani hails from a family deeply involved in India’s freedom struggle. With inborn ability in business, talent in literature, special interest in music and social service makes Smt. Padma Binani a diversified person. The young impressionable mind of Smt. Padma Binani closely experienced the shift of the pro-establishment environment to an anti-establishment, within her own family.
Smt. Binani believes that in Indian society today, individuals are in a state of flux and are experiencing an inability to relate to their cultural grounding. She attributes this to the transient nature of our social milieu which exposes the individual to an unprecedented multiplicity of views. The result is that our younger and highly impressionable generation is growing up in a fast-moving world with few role models, cultural inputs and experiential guidance. This has provided her with the impetus to start the Padma Binani Foundation.
Vatsalya: Vatsalya is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “affection” especially for children. Many of the projects of Vatsalya are child-centric and are a storehouse of knowledge and learning for the youth today. Vatsalya attempts to fill in the void of a guiding force, a role model or an inspirational voice for children through its bouquet of programs, projects and services. The Vatsalya campaign is a continuous information gathering process which involves creating a database of writers, publishers, illustrators, cartoonist, film makers and music composers directly or indirectly associated with children. The annually instituted Vatsalya Award promotes and recognizes the contribution of Indian authors who have written books for children in any of the 22 languages listed in schedule 8 of our Constitution. The award constitutes of a citation from Padma Binani Foundation along with a prize money of 1 lac rupees.
Dhiruben Patel was born on 1926 in a middle class family in Mumbai. Her first story was published in 1942 and since, she has never stopped writing. Throughout her 68 years in writing, she has written many novels, poetries, essays, plays, TV/Film scripts, short stories and radio plays. Some of her noted work includes Hindi serials ‘Baingan Raja’ and a Hindi film ‘Heda Hoda’ which won several national and international awards. She has written a Gujarati film ‘Harron Arun’ recently which has produced by Children’s Film society. It was her first Gujarati full-length play on arithmetic entitled, ‘Anderi Ganderi Tipri Ten’ published in 1956, which has staged all over India and firmly established her as a favorite writer for children. Apart from that, in 2003, she became the President of Guajarti Sahitya Parishad which is Gujarat’s oldest and most well-known literary association. She inspired and helped many creative writers, including women and children during the two years of her Presidency. With a passion towards life and an excellent sense of humour, she is still involved in what she loves doing and this is what makes her a perfect idol for every upcoming talent. Professor Dhiruben Patel is still active and highly honoured for his innovative and educative writings.