Imphal: Education, Labour & Employment Minister Shri Thokchom Radheshyam today, conferred the first Heisnam Basantakumar Award, 2018 to the eminent writer Shri Keisham Priyokumar, popularly known for his story ‘Nongdi Tarakhidarae.’
The Heisnam Basantakumar Award, 2018 observed to mark the World Book Day Celebration carries a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 along with a citation and a shawl. The award ceremony was organized by Sahitya Thoupang Lup.
The minister said that the conventional books have been the source of knowledge and passion implanting to the human to become a more dignified personality. Speaking about the fate of the conventional books in comparison to the rise of eBooks, he said, ‘Change is a phenomenon and the conventional books will remain relevant despite emergence of newer forms of reading technology.’
He further stressed that the children need to be encouraged to read books besides their textbooks to expand their knowledge which should continue even after they get a job. Reading habits need to instil to the children and also make them write to learn to express themselves and developed reading habit because reading and writing are considered as the two faces of a coin. Books are good friends which guide and shows us the right pathway to become humane, he added.
On the proposal to establish a separate publication division for the State under the Education Department, Minister Radheshyam assured that he will look into the possibility on how it can be carried out with consultation of Directorate of Language Planning and Implementation and the scholars.
On receiving the award Keisham Priyokumar said, ‘I do not deserve the first ever award in the name of Shri Heisnam Basantakumar because there are many more prominent writers in Manipur who has been in every sense a more deserving writer and language activist working and writing for the development of Manipuri language and literature.’
He expressed that to have lost Heisnam Basantakumar in such a young age of forty is a great lost for the State especially in the field of literature as at a very young age he had already written a novel and collection of poetry. If he had live longer there would have been more contributions in field of literary work, he added.
Poems were also recited dedicating to the historic Khongjom Day being commemorated today. The function was attended by Retd. Additional Director University & Higher Education, Shri Aribam Kumar Sharma, Director IPR Shri Heisnam Balkrisna Singh, renowned writers of Manipur and the invitees.