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He wants to propagate children’s literature in Punjabi to inculcate reading habit

Kulbir Singh Suri, youngest son of iconic Punjabi novelist Nanak Singh Navalkar, is busy giving final touches to his next novel

He wants to propagate children’s literature in Punjabi to inculcate reading habit

Photo for representation only

PK Jaiswar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 20

From running a publishing house to becoming an icon in Punjabi literature for kids, Kulbir Singh Suri has now dedicated his entire time to create and propagate children’s literature to inculcate a reading habit among them.

Suri, a recipient of Bal Sahitya Akademi award and Shiromani Bal Sahit writer award from the Punjab Government, is the youngest son of iconic Punjabi novelist Nanak Singh, famously known as Nanak Singh Navalkar. Even after completing his doctorate in Punjabi language, he chose to run a publishing house at a time when getting professorship was not tough.

Running a publishing house is not an easy task. We have seen various ups and downs during this journey. But now, call it age factor, I have dedicated my time to create more and more literature for children. The journey to become a children's writer started in 1990, when I once wanted to read children literature in Punjabi. To my disappointment, there was not much in our mother tongue and even today, there are only a handful of writers involved in writing for children. —Kulbir Singh Suri, Author

He used to run Nanak Singh Pustakmala publishing house. “Running a publishing house is not an easy task. We have seen various ups and downs during this journey. But now, call it age factor, I have dedicated my time to creating more and more literature for children,” he said.

The journey to become a children’s writer started in 1990, when he once wanted to read children literature in Punjabi. “To my disappointment, there was not much in our mother tongue and even today, there are only a handful of writers involved in writing for children,” Suri pointed out.

While visiting foreign countries, he observed that parents keep pictorial books in the bedroom of young children. This helped in inculcating a reading habit among children. “But unfortunately, we don’t have such literature here in our mother tongue though earlier, grandparents used to tell stories to their children,” he said.

Another major reason behind turning to writing for children was dearth of novels in children literature. He said the present generation was unaware of several terms and names of trees used in villages.

Suri has around 39 books — stories and novel — to his credit. He got the Shiromani Bal Sahit writer award for children literature for his first novel ‘Dudh Diya Dharan’ in 2014.

At present, he is busy finishing his upcoming novel ‘Naankeyan Da Pind’, which is scheduled for publication in January. The lockdown has given us a lot of time to work on the novel, he said, expressing dismay over the diminishing readership of Punjabi literature.

Tribune Shorts


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