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`Encourage theatre activity among children'

By Our Staff Correspondent

BELGAUM, FEB. 6. The fourth State-level children's literary conference got off to a colourful start here today. But with a programme involving the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, coinciding with the inauguration of the literary conference, the organisers were forced to rush through the event. As a result, the Minister for Agriculture and district in-charge, Prakash B. Hukkeri, left the venue immediately after inaugurating the conference.

However, the Minister assured the organisers that he will prevail on the Government to release more funds to develop children's literature. He also complimented the organisers for arranging the conference in just eight days.

Litterateurs absent

Ironically, though a large number of guests were present at the inauguration function, there was no one representing the genre of children's literature. Prominent among those present were the Mayor, Vandana Belgundkar, and Ramesh L. Kudachi and Manohar Kinekar, MLAs. Sri Siddharam Swamy of Nagnoor Mutt, which has arranged food for the delegates on both the days of the conference, and Sri Siddeshwar Swamy of Khanapur graced the occasion.

Academy sought

In his address, B.A. Sanadi, writer, pleaded for the establishment of a "Makkala Sahitya Academy" to work towards the socio-cultural enrichment of children in the State.

Stressing on inculcating good cultural values in them by placing emphasis on literature, poetry, art, drama and music, he urged the Government to amend rules pertaining to libraries and buy at least 1,000 copies of good books on children's literature and make them available in all libraries in the State. He also stressed the need to allocate special grants to rural libraries to encourage reading among rural children.

Dr. Sanadi suggested that the Government encourage theatre activities among children through the Kannada and Culture Department.

Besides, steps should be taken by the Kannada Development Authority to protect the interest of Horanadu Kannadigas, whose children are studying or learning Kannada in the neighbouring States.

Dr. Sanadi stressed the importance of the conference towards the healthy development of children.

5,000 children

About 5,000 children, mainly from districts in north Karnataka, are participating in the conference.

The working chairman of the reception committee and MP, Suresh C. Angadi, welcomed the guests. His welcome speech was preceded by a Bharatanatya performance by a child artiste, Priyanka Gulyannavar.

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