Dubai: UAE Bunts to honour Dr Sunitha Shetty with 'Bunta Vibhushana Award at 44th anniversary

Report: Shodhan Prasad

Dubai, May 8: Well known writer poetess from Tulu Nadu, Dr Sunitha Shetty on May 11 will be bestowed with ‘Bunta Vibhushana Award’ for the year 2018 at the 44th anniversary celebration of UAE Bunts.

UAE Bunts are all set to celebrate their 44th anniversary programme at the ballroom of Hotel J W Marriott, here. Main convener of UAE Bunts, Padmashree Dr B R Shetty will do the honours along with chief guest Shashikiran Shetty, CEO and managing director of All Cargo Logistics Global who will grace the occasion. World Bunts Federation president Aikala Harish Shetty will also grace the function as guest of honour.

Film actor Ashok Shetty along with Karnoor Mohan Rai will be the guests while Namma TV fame, Naveen Shetty Yedmar will be master of ceremony.

Awardee Dr Sunitha Shetty’s footprints

Hailing from a small town of Kalavaru near Mangalore, Dr Sunitha Shetty was born in 1939. She graduated from Government College Mangaluru in Economics and Political Science majoring in Kannada.

She later moved to Mumbai to join her brother and served as teacher there. After 10 years of service in that line, she post graduated and completed MA in Kannada from Mumbai University. Later, Mumbai University invited her as professor for over 25 years after which she retired at 60.

During her time she saw a lot of community issues mainly on marriage formalities in society where she lived. High ‘dowry system’ was one such issue in the community which resulted in many girls from low income homes remaining unmarried though they passed the age of marriage. Looking at these issues and also of the atrocities done by male dominated society, she fought against these systems and founded ‘Young Congress Swayam Sevak’ movement. She led the movement and decided she would not marry
until society changed the dowry system. Her movement received a tremendous response that many young men came forward to voluntarily support her movement and marry without demands on dowry. This led to the downslide of ‘dowry system’ and system changes came into society at large. Later, a youngster came forward and proposed to marry her without demanding dowry. This proposal was then supported by her uncle who arranged the marriage and today, Dr Sunitha Shetty is blessed with three children.

As a writer, Dr Sunitha began with a few of her short stories published from time to time in a weekly Kannada magazine ‘Prajamatha’. It later progressed as she taught students in her college poetry recitation. What started as Kannada poems later developed into writings in Tulu her mother tongue. Her bouquet of poems ‘Pingara’ earned her great popularity and encouraged her to write and publish ‘Ninada’, ‘Antharanga’, ‘Payana’, ‘Nanna Doni Ninna Theera’ and various other short stories, dramas and
more. 23 books were released to her credit.

Dr Sunitha gathered more experience by travelling to places which improved her knowledge in literature. She was also invited to America as a guest of Vishwa Buntara Sammelana. In later years she travelled to Europe, Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain, Andaman Nicobar Islands, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal as well as in and around India. Daring to travel all alone to many places made her strong and courageous. Blessed with this, she shared and wrote her experiences in a tourism India titled 'Pravasiya Hejjagalu’ which earned her the honour of ‘Matoshree Ratnamma Heggade’ Award. Later, she wrote ‘Sanskrati Payana’ describing the various art and folklore of her various destinations. Looking at the various books she wrote especially on the well-known artiste K K Hebbar’s lifestory, the Sahitya Academy gave her an opportunity to write on Literature, Art, Folk and Tradition in Kannada and Tulu.

Awards and accolades bestowed

Dr Sunitha from the past five decades has been writing and at the age of 79 is still strong in literature, drama and poem writing. Appraising her work she has been honoured by various organisations in both Kannada and Tulu including appreciation from the government.

Some of the awards include:-

  • Veera Rani Abbaka Award in 1998 by Abbaka Prathistana Karnataka
  • JayadeviThayi Ligade Award in 2012 by Vidyadhar Kannada Prathistana
  • Karnataka Kalashree Award in 2012
  • Siri 2018 Award by Buntara Yane Nadavara Sangha Mangaluru
  • Alvas Nudisiri Award
  • Guru Narayana Sahitya Award Mumbai
  • Dhana Chintamani Athimabbe Award by Government of Karnataka
  • Pusthaka Prashasthi Award by Tulu Sahitya Academy
  • Khille Prashasthi Award by Khille Prathistana Puttur
  • Sadhaka Prashasthi Award by Karnataka Sangha Mumbai
  • Sahitya Prashasthi Award by Shree Krishna Prathistana Mumbai
  • Nethaji Puraskar
  • Felicitation by Vashi Kannada Sangha
  • Felicitation by Tulu Koota Kuwait

She was guest of honour at ‘Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sanskriti Sammelana’ held at Surat in 2012.

Dr Sunitha keeps encouraging youth and leading more and more young writers. She supports female gender equality and helps the downtrodden in society. Her support towards social cause is very well remembered, recognized and honoured even today.