South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

SAI Receives Major Gift in Honor of KoChe to Support Kannada Studies

Wed, June 27, 2018
SAI Receives Major Gift in Honor of KoChe to Support Kannada Studies

On May 23, 2018, the South Asia Institute received a generous donation from UT Professor Prabhudev Konana in honor of his father. Nonagenarian Konana Chennabasappa, popularly known as KoChe, is a Kannada writer, retired district judge, and one of India’s freedom fighters. He has authored over a hundred books and written several hundred articles in the Kannada language on political, judicial, philosophical, and social issues. He received the Kannada Sahitya Academy Award and the Rajyotsava Award from the state of Karnataka, India. He also published and edited in the 1940s and 50s a popular Kannada weekly newspaper called Raitha Patrike.
 
The gift kicks off our Kannada Studies Initiative campaign, which seeks to raise at least $250,000 in endowment funds to support the teaching of the Kannada language and Kannada-related events and programs at the University of Texas at Austin. For more than 50 years, UT has supported the study of South Indian languages and cultures. In spite of its obvious importance, however, we have not yet been able to offer Kannada. More critically, it has only rarely and sporadically been offered anywhere in the US. The Kannada Studies Initiative seeks to fill this gap locally and nationally. Karnataka’s rich religious, political, and literary history are just the beginning of the treasures made available through a knowledge of Kannada. With the help of Kannadigas and Kannada supporters everywhere, we hope to ensure a future for Kannada studies in US universities and schools. Furthermore, one of our central goals with this initiative will also be to create resources not only to help university students learn this important language, but also to help younger students everywhere have access to high-quality learning materials.
 
Over the next five years, our campaign will raise funds to establish Kannada Studies. The South Asia Institute is thrilled to be working with supporters in Texas and the US to give Kannada a permanent home at UT-Austin. Our sincere thanks to Prof. Konana for providing an auspicious beginning.

If you would like to make a contribution to the KoChe Kannada Studies Fund, please use this link: http://links.utexas.edu/vsmxwe.

To contribute to the general Kannada Studies Initiative, please use this link: http://links.utexas.edu/cpodfps.

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