November 20, 2016

Announcing the winners of the inaugural ‘Big Little Book Award 2016’ instituted by Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts

Madhuri Purandare wins the award for Best Author for Children's Literature in Marathi

Atanu Roy wins the award for Best Illustrator for Children's Literature across languages

From left: Tara Sabavala, associate director, Tata Trusts; Atanu Roy, Best Illustrator for Children's literature across languages; Anil Dharker, founder and festival director, Literature Live!; Madhuri Purandare, Best Author for Children's Literature in Marathi; and Burzis Taraporewala, chief financial officer and secretary, Tata Trusts
Mumbai: Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts, announces the winners of the 'Big Little Book Award 2016' for Best Author in Marathi language as Madhuri Purandare and Best Illustrator across languages as Atanu Roy in the Children's Literature Category at the 2016 Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest. A first in India, the Big Little Book Award seeks to recognise and honour authors and illustrators, who have written and illustrated stories that actively delight their young readers, make them smile more, open their curious minds to new concepts and cultures, and inspire them to dream big and balance the traditional with the contemporary.

For the 2016 inaugural edition, nominations were invited in the category of authors writing for children in Marathi. Meanwhile illustrators' entries were not limited to any language. The author's award will focus on one Indian language every year henceforth.

Children's literature and books have been a neglected category in Indian publishing, with a handful of publishers striving to publish stories that reflect the multicultural and multilingual world that children grow up in today. Given that children have limited access to original Indian writing in English and other languages, the Big Little Book Award, instituted by Parag, drives home the crucial need of children's literature that introduces and ties them to Indian culture, heritage and tradition in a fun and engaging manner while remaining contemporary. The idea was to create awareness not just among children and parents but also the publishing industry to promote recognition in this genre. Children are the future, and the more we reward and award children's books, the richer we will be as a society.

While lauding them for their individual contributions towards enriching and bringing alive the world of books for young minds, Anil Dharker, founder and festival director; Burzis Taraporewala, secretary and chief financial officer, Tata Trusts and Tara Sabavala, associate director, Tata Trusts, presented the award to Madhuri Purandare and Atanu Roy in the presence of luminaries of the literary world.

Said Ms Sabavala, "Education is one of the key focus areas for us at Tata Trusts. The programmes in this portfolio strive to enhance the quality and equity of education. Access to children's literature of value in Indian languages is central to the Trust's efforts of widening children's horizons and building 21st century skills. The Big Little Book Award is our way to recognise talent and encourage more authors and illustrators to engage with children's literature".

The jury were in concurrence on the uniqueness of the award, which was instituted to counter the largely neglected space of children's literature.

Reacting to her win, Ms Purandare said, "I am very happy and honoured to receive this award. I would like to congratulate Parag Initiative for recognising children literature on a major literary platform."

Commenting on his win, Mr Roy said, "I am very happy to receive this award and too excited to speak. Hopefully this award will encourage illustrators."

Mr Dharker said, "Children's books are probably the most important component of literature because good children's book result in young readers who go on to become avid followers of literature when they grow up. The publication of books for children in the West is highly developed with excellent quality and huge variety. Both writers & illustrators combine to produce the best books for children"

In the run up to the awards, the Parag Initiative organised a series of workshops, a book swap for children, interactive reading sessions and panel discussions to bring alive the need to engage with children's literature, promoting access to quality books and deepen understanding of educators on using children's literature to promote reading for pleasure.

The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts in association with various partners has worked on development of original books at affordable prices, creating dissemination channels, set up classroom and school libraries and build capacity for young illustrators and librarians with the aim to build reading culture from young age.

About Madhuri Purandare, Author
Madhuri Purandare has written and illustrated more than 23 story books including the Yash Series - a series of six books that take us into the utterly enchanting everyday world of little Yash. Others include Radhache Ghar, Chitravachan, Hana's Suitcase (translated into Marathi), Babachya Mishya, Aunty Jui's Baby and The Hundred and Thirty-seventh Leg. Her books are about regular, ordinary things that children encounter in their everyday lives illustrated with great detail for small things. She has conceived and edited 'Vaachu Aanande' – a thematic anthology of Marathi literature and Indian Art for children between 10 to 15 years of age. Because of her keen interest in language and grammar, she authored a three-volume book containing a series of Marathi language exercises for school children titled 'Lihave Netke'. She is vocal about the need for literature to be context appropriate and her stories give a 'voice' to children who could well be from any part of India by tackling simple, daily 'issues' of interest to them. She has a degree from JJ school of Arts and studied 'Painting and Graphic Arts' in Paris for one year. She teaches French, is versatile artist who has performed on theater apart from writing and illustrating.

About Atanu Roy, Illustrator
Atanu studied B.F.A (Applied Arts) 1974, with first class first and distinction in Aesthetics (College of Art, University of Delhi). He was a Political Cartoonist at India Today from 1978 – 80. He has also worked in Tokyo as designer and illustrator and as an Art Director, Design Unit (Thomson Press / Living Media). Working as a designer for Rajpal & Sons while in college, he did his first book on the history of transport in single color detailed drawing in ink. He did the first picture book - Tails for the National Book Trust. He gained immensely while working as a creative consultant in seven states for the DPEP and later the Sarva Shisha Abhiyan especially in Kerala. He has worked on various styles, from the thick outlines of Who's Smarter to the crazy black and white drawings for Wingless. He has worked with a range of publishers and across age groups. He received the Children's Choice Award for book illustration by AWIC in 1989 and IBBY Certificate of honour for Illustration – 2006 among others.

About Tata Trusts
Tata Trusts is amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continues to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata, and through his vision of proactive philanthropy, the Trusts catalyses societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation. For more information, please visit:

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Nikita Crasta | Rediffusion /Edelman