Kala Academy’s Gomant Sharada literary award to Heblekar for his works on science fiction


Regretting that several organizations working for literature development in India consider science fiction as 'sub-standard literature', the former registrar of Goa university (GU) Arun Heblekar has applauded Kala Academy for its broad-minded criteria for selection of awardees.
The academy has declared its prestigious 'Gomant Sharada Sahitya Puraskar' (Gomant Sharada Literary Award) for 2010-2011 to Heblekar for his works on science fiction in Marathi language. The award carries a cash prize of one lakh a citation and a gold plated memento.
Academy chairman and MLA Vishnu Wagh has recently declared the award at Ponda in the presence of the Heblekar.
Wagh said that the 8th bi-annual award will be presented to Heblekar during a special function at Kala Academy at a later date.
Hailing the academy decision, Heblekar said that the declaration had brought a surprise to him, as Sahitya Academy even had never considered science fiction as standard literature.
The award was started in 1993 and Heblekar will be the eighth awardee in the line and first non-Goan by birth.
So far, the awards have been conferred on B D Satoskar, Ravindra Kelekar, Manohar Hirba Sardesai and Manoharrai Sardesai (joint), Shankar Ramani, Chandrakant Keni, Lambert Mascarenhas and Pundalik N Naik.
After coming down to Goa in August 1964 from Maharashtra, Heblekar has worked for several institutions in Goa.
Heblekar has to his credit several books in Konkani, Marathi and English on science fiction which includes 'Ring of Saturn', 'Rudramukh', 'Oh Johnny', 'Jona's ark,' besides several others over a career spanning for 40 years. [TOI]