His mother Gangamma Somappa Bommai passed away in 2002. Bommai has a special respect for his late mother, in whose memory he has published six books through a trust since 2006. Four more are in the pipeline.
Mallikarjun Bommai aka Mahesh Bommai, younger brother of the CM and the vice-president of Smt Gangamma Somappa Bommai Trust, told TOI that they have been helping thousands of poor children with textbooks, notebooks and learning materials. “We organise programmes on January 26, the birth anniversary of our mother, at Hubballi, Savanur and Shiggaon. We also encourage young writers and honour senior writers by presenting them awards and publishing their books since 2006,” he said.
Chandrashekhar Vastrad, who edits the books, said that they had decided to publish 10 books themed on ‘avva’ (mother). “These books could be of any genre — poetry, stories, autobiographies, novels or the commoners’ experiences. The first book on mother, a compilation of poems by contemporary poets, was published in 2006. The very next year, we had the second book which was a collection of stories about mother by different Kannada story writers,” he said.
The next set of works pertain to mother in autobiographies of great personalities. “We have compiled stories of Russian writer Maxim Gorky, Italian littérateur Gracial Garda, Hindi writer Mahashwetadevi, Marathi writers Saneguruji, Pramod Karnad an Kannada writers AaNaKru, Niranjana among others. Themes like folklore, mother in ancient Kannada works, and mother in plays were also covered in the subsequent works,” he explained.
“Though the trust holds programmes annually, publishing of books needs time as it calls for research. Also, the trust has instituted Akka Award for women writers, Janapada Siri Award for folklore talents and Aralu Moggu Award for budding writers,” he added.
Veteran scholar Veeranna Rajur said Bommai’s affection and respect towards his mother is extended to all mothers of the world. “While participating in the trust’s programmes, we have observed that Bommai is a good reader, thinker and a literature enthusiast,” he said.
B L Santhosh, national general secretary (organisation), had once tweeted about Bommai’s passion to publish books as a tribute to mothers.
Source – Times of India