A number of social programs have been built around the Kumaon Literary Festival, being held from October 23-27.
The Yes Bank Kumaon Literary Festival (KLF) has many firsts to its credit. For starters, it’s the first literary festival of international scale and standards to be held in a rural area. The location of KLF, Dhanachuli, is being developed into a “smart village” through creative initiatives. NHP Centre (www.nhpcentre.org), the NGO producing the KLF is championing the smart village initiative under the leadership of Sumant Batra and Asha Batra, its founder.
A number of social programs will dovetail into the festival to advance its goals.
WHAT IT IS
Kumaon Literary Festival (KLF) is the first annual retreat and traveling literary festival of the country. For three days (from 23-27 October) the festival will be held in Dhanachuli an enchanting little village in the Himalayas. The festival will travel to Nainital on 26th for 2 days. Sumant Batra, a leading lawyer, who is senior international consultant to the IMF, World Bank Group and has worked extensively with United Nations, OECD and other multilateral agencies, is the founder of KLF.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A not-for-profit initiative, KLF will bring together eminent authors, cinema and media personalities, political commentators, thought leaders and opinion makers of the country for a unique festival to be held in Dhanachuli and in Nainital.
A preview of the festival held in New Delhi at The Taj Mahal Hotel, introduced three KLF projects:
Fellows of Nature
Nature writing was once considered to be the rock and roll of literature. In the last few decades it has shown a steady decline. According to the organisers, “There is a pressing need to restore this literary art. With the objective of reviving interest in nature writing and reading, and through this form of literature, build awareness and develop respect for nature, and eventually help in conservation we propose to start the project Fellows of Nature under the aegis of KLF to develop a community of nature writers.” The Project will entail inviting nationwide submissions of short stories on the theme of nature and publish a book of about 20 best stories selected by an eminent jury. A five-member jury will select best stories from the submissions received. The selected short stories will be published in the book. Siddhartha Gigoo (Asia winner of Commonwealth Short Story Award 2015) has agreed to be on the jury.
The publisher partner is expected to cover the cost of publishing. Sujata Parashar will be the director of the project. The project will have the following outcomes arising out of this single initiative.
(i) A fine collection of short stories on nature; (ii) Create a community of nature writers; (iii) Initiate the FON Award to be presented to two best stories to be selected from the top 20 stories. The award can be presented at the second edition of KLF; (iv) Sensitizing and awareness building through partner engagement. The campaign will help put the spotlight on critical environment issues (in an engaging way) while discussing literature.
Women Writers Unlimited Series to empower women
The NHP Centre is launching the series titled Women Unlimited Series. One of the outstanding features of KLF is that over 50 per cent participants are women. Not just as participants, women feature prominently across the entire spectrum of the KLF including the planning board, speakers, moderators, curators, chefs, performers, secretariat and volunteers. The project will be launched by Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Ed.D., Representative, UN Women Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka.
This is a project to mentor youth through literature. India is currently passing through a phase of rapid social, cultural and economic transition. An immensely young population has to deal with the dynamics of this transition on a daily basis. The role of art and literature assumes far greater importance in such times as thinkers, writers, poets and artists can make an important contribution in guiding the youth and in conserving nature, wildlife, heritage and culture through their work. The Kumaon Literary Festival’s initiative Literary Bhagidari will involve the literary community in mentoring the youth and help in conserving nature, wildlife, heritage and culture through their work. The Literary Bhagidari project will be launched by Natalie Daalder, wife of HE Patrick Suckling, the Australian High Commissioner to India.
K-Lit, a mobile application
A mobile application will be launched – the first by any literary festival in the country.
(Photos courtesy: www.facebook.com/KumaonLitFestival)
For more details, visit www.kumaonliteraryfestival.org.