Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar for Hafiz Karnataki

The Urdu writer was chosen for his work Fakr-E-Watan

Shikaripur-based Urdu writer Hafiz Karnataki has been chosen for Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar of 2020. He received the award for his book Fakr-E-Watan, a work on freedom fighters of India.

Mr. Karnataki, 57, began his literary career as a poet in the 1980s and later turned towards writing for children. So far, he has brought out 94 books. He has translated many vacahanas of Basavanna and Akkamahadevi and writings of Kuvempu into Urdu.

Born into a family of teachers, he developed an interest in literature at a young age. He became a teacher at a government primary school in 1987 and worked at different places before resigning from the job in 2006.

Now he looks after his educational institution, which provides education to 3,000 girls at Shikaripura. He also worked as chairman of Karnataka Urdu Academy. A couple of students have done PhDs on his literature. Considering his contribution to the field of literature, Gulbarga University honoured him with an honorary doctorate in 2013.

After the Sahitya Akademi announced the award on Friday, he received calls from different parts of the country congratulating him. “I am getting congratulatory messages from many people. First among those called me were the scholars who did study my literature for PhD,” he told The Hindu on the phone.

Mr. Karnataki wants to hit a century by bringing out six more books soon, as he has already published 94 works. “Children of the present generation are more intelligent than me. I wish to write for them on values they have to inculcate at a young age,” he said. The award carries a cash prize of ₹50,000, besides a memento.

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