Sahitya Academy Award for Teachers

Sahitya Academy Award for Teachers

K. Veerabhadrappa, Primary School teacher at D. Hirehal in Anantapur district, was conferred the prestigious Kendra Sahitya Academy Award in Kannada for his historical novel ‘Arayan’ (palace) for the current year.

Though the novel is in Kannada language, the central theme of the book revolves round the life in Rayalaseema and Thomas Munro, famed British Collector between 1800-1817.

Sharing his experiences with The Hindu on telephone from Koppal in Karnataka, Mr. Veerabhadrappa said he worked more than 15 years collecting inputs for the book.

As very little of authentic account of Thomas Munro is available, he visited many libraries, referred to many books Gazetteers and manuscripts. “I spent 1,000 days of work and nearly Rs. 50,000 on the book,” he said.

Mr. Veerabhadrappa said he had hit upon the idea of writing a book on Thomas Munro in 1977.

When he worked as teacher at Vandavagili and Gulyam near Adoni in Kurnool district, Mr. Veerabhadrappa was posted to Chellela Chelima village in Pathikonda for polling work. He was surprised to see dozens of people on voters’ list named after Thomas Munro such as Munrappa, Munrolamma.

Mr. Munro quelled the rebellious Palegars of Rayalaseema and saved the common man from harassment. Also, he initiated education, dug agriculture wells and raised plantations in the parched lands.

When Munro died in 1827 the local people did not allow the British officers to take away the body as they wanted his grave amidst them.

Mr. Veerabhadrappa, who was inspired by the life and work of Thomas Munro, wrote the book in folk narrative style running into 600 pages, accommodating over 500 characters.

The universities awarded three doctorate degrees and seven M. Phil degrees to scholars who produced thesis out of his works.

Many of his write-ups found a place on the text books at college and university level.

Though he was invited by universities to work as visiting professor, Mr. Veerabhadrappa preferred a teacher’s job in a primary school saying he would be more creative while working with kids.