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Noted Kannada poet and playwright H S Shivaprakash was today presented the prestigious 'Kusumagraja Rashtriya Puraskar' of this year for his outstanding contribution to social and educational fields.
The award, constituted by the Nashik-based Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University's (YCMOU's) Kusumagraja adhyasan (Chair), carries a cash prize of Rs one lakh, a memento and a citation. It was presented to Shivaprakash by Akshaykumar Kale, the president of the 90th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.
In his acceptance speech, the poet said Lord Vitthal of Pandharpur is a common factor that bonds Maharashtra and Karnataka despite both the states being at loggerheads over a long-pending border dispute.
YCMOU Vice-Chancellor E. Vayunandan presided over the function.
'Kusumagraj', after whom the award is named, was a pen name of noted Marathi litterateur late V V Shirwadkar, a Jnanpith awardee.
Shivaprakash, who writes in Kannada and English languages, has nine compilations of poems in his name. He has penned 15 dramas.
Many of his poems were translated in various regional languages as well as in some European languages. He had edited Indian literature of Sahitya Akademi and had also worked in Berlins Tagore Centre (Indian consulate), a YCMOU release said.
At the function, Latur-based Menka Dhumale was presented YCMOUs Baburao Bagul story writing award for year 2016 for her book "Korda Paus".
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 21,000 and a memento.