Aug 21, 2015: Savants Arisetti Sai Prasad, Dr PSG Kumar receive awards

(Seated in the photo are Arisetti Sai Prasad & his consort)


Two savants Arisetti Sai Prasad and Dr PSG Kumar were felicitated with Iyyanki-Velaga award on July 24, 2015 at Annamaiah Kala Vedika, Guntur on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Padma Shri Iyyanki Venkata Ramanayya (1890-1979). The anniversary functions are funded by Prof PN Kaula Endowment for Library & Information Science. While Venkata Ramanayya was the architect of Public Library Movement in India; Velaga Venkatappaiah (1932-2014) was Chairman of the Public Library Sectional Committee of the Indian Library Association.


Dr Raavi Sarada, Secretary of AP Library Association, who was the guest of honour, observed that remembrance of greats like Ramanayya and Venkatappaiah would inspire the present generation to extensively read books and expand their horizons of knowledge. Unless we set up and improved our libraries and cultivated the reading habit, our society would lag behind, she cautioned, by quoting Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narasimham (1867-1946), a freedom fighter, prolific writer and editor.


A bibliophile, researcher and writer, Sai Prasad is an ardent devotee of Lord Narasimha. An insatiable reader, he has amassed 50,000 books in his personal library. A lover of classical and devotional literature, he presented papers in various seminars at Guntur, Vijayawada and Mysore. His book bringing out the significance of Sri Varaha Narasimha Swamy of Simhachalam is going to be launched shortly.


Dr PSG Kumar, a former president of the Indian Library Association, taught Library Science for 26 years at Nagpur University, and produced 36 PhDs and 2 MPhils. He has also instituted an annual Life Time Achievement Award of Rs one lakh under the banner of Dr PSG Kumar Felicitation Committee, Amrawati (Maharashtra) for the professionals in the field of Library Science in India.


Both Sai Prasad and Dr Kumar were, besides a purse of Rs 10,000 each, presented with shawl, garland, citation, and memento at the hands of chief guest SS Raghunath, former Special Officer of TTD Hindu Dharma Prachara Parishat and presently Project Officer, Pulichintala Project.


In his acceptance speech, Sai Prasad recalled his boyhood when he could not have proper education. By working in bookstalls in Guntur and Hyderabad, he acquired knowledge, and it spurred him into literary and religious service. Once when he stayed overnight at the Vedadri temple on the banks of the Krishna in Krishna district, a wish sprouted in him to visit as many pilgrim centres of Lord Narasimha as possible. This quest led him to gather all the necessary information and literature on Lord Narasimha, comprising about 1,500 books in Telugu and Sanskrit; and he had digitalized the entire corpus for the benefit of posterity.

(Report by: U Atreya Sarma on Aug 21, 2015)

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