KARKI VENKATARAMAN SHASTRI, SURI ENDOWMENT

KARKI VENKATARAMANA SHASTRI SURI AWARD FUNCTION

The name of ‘Shri Karki Venkataramana Shastri Suri’ is written in golden words in the history of Kannada language and literature and the yeoman services rendered by him in the fields of literature, journalism and social work will always be remembered.

Late Shri Karki Venkataramana Shaastri Suri was a native of Karki in North Kanara District, who lived in the later part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. By establishing BHARATI CHAPAKHANE in 1882, he was the first to introduce Tiligari lipi and to publish Kannada books. In the year 1887 he published the First original social drama in Kannada IGGAPPA HEGADEYAVIVAH PRAHASAN in which he opposed social injustice. DAKSHINA YATRA CHARITRE written by him is recognized as the first Travelogue written in Kannada. He started the first Kannada Weekly called HAVYAKA SUBODHA in the year 1885. He was the first to include caricature in newspapers and magazines. In the year 1888, he edited children’s magazine by the name HITOPADESHA. He has also published 28 books.

The personality of Shri Karki Venkataramana Shastri Suri had many facets. He criticized British rule fearlessly in strong words resulting in his imprisonment by the British Government. At the same time in his children’s Magazine, he would reach out to children very softly with the help of many stories and illustrations. His love for Social Justice is evident in many of his writings. His achievement in a short span of life is really admirable. (His end came in at an early age though the exact date of demise is not known.)

To commemorate this great persona ‘Havyaka Welfare Trust’ Mumbai’ has established an Endowment Fund in the year 2006. The aim of the Karki Venkataramana Shastri Suri Endowment Fund is to felicitate a Kannadiga every year for his achievement in each field of Literature, Journalism and Social work by rotation. The award carries cash prize of Rs 10,000/- and the Awardee is felicitated with a shawl and citation. Since 2006 the Shri Karki Venkataramana Shastri Award function is being held with great zest and zeal.

In 2006 Shri Amrat Someshwar was conferred upon the award for his outstanding literary work. In 2007 Shri Shimunje Parare, a renowned Journalist was felicitated with the Award. In 2008 Karki Venkataramana Shastri Award was conferred upon Shri Subray Bhat, Kampco for his social Work. In 2009, a great Yakshagana Artist Shri Ramachandra Hegde, Chittani was felicitated for his contribution in the field of Art.


In order to make the function more transparent and for arriving at unanimous decisions the following suggestions may be looked into.

1. Extending the categories of fields in which the achievers may be honored. For example the form of Arts like Dramas, Yakshaganas, Music including Vocal Music may also be considered for giving the awards.

2. Flexibility in the practice of honoring the achievers in the field of Literature, Journalism and Social Work by rotation.

3. Inviting recommendations from our members for consideration through Havyaka Sandesha for selection of the Awardees.

4 Increasing the number of members of the selection committee in view of smooth functioning and documentation of proceedings for maintaining transparency.