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Mangalore: Shahanaz - Right Recognition on the 'Write' Path
by Richie Lasrado, Resident Editor, Daijiworld.com, Mangalore

November 18, 2005

Bright sparks of flair for writing in Kannada had already been showing in her when she was a student at the Victoria Girls' High School at Lady Hill in the city. Higher education would have certainly helped.

Yet, marriage and handling the responsibilities of a home-maker could not deter the writer in Shahanaz M, who won the district-level Rajyotsava award recently. With her two-decade-long experience in prolific writing, she has already inspired many other Muslim women to take to writing.

Five years ago, when the Sanmarga group decided to bring out a women's Kannada monthly magazine, Anupama, the mantle of editorship naturally fell on her.

For one who lives in an Urdu-speaking household, Shahanaz's literary output in Kannada can be termed nothing short of being prodigious. Janavahini, Udayavani, Taranga and Pavitra Sandesha are some of the major publications wherein her poems, stories and analyses of burning social issues have appeared.

For about three years, she ran a popular weekly column on socially-relevant issues in Jana Antaranga daily.

Her first collection of short stories, Tiruvugalu ("Turning Points"), by winning the coveted Attimabbe award, proved to be a turning point in her writing career. Later, another collection of stories, Mettalugalu ("Stepping Stones"), became a stepping stone for her to get into further limelight and a world of recognition and laurels.

She was instrumental in the founding of the Muslim Mahila Sahitya Sangha (Muslim Women's Literary Association) seven years ago and has been its president ever since. Fully aware of the problems faced by a good number of women in her community, she founded the Sahana Couselling Centre. Sahana, incidentally, means patience. And Shahanaz has it aplenty.

All this, she vouches, was possible only because of the constant support from her husband, S M Muthalib of Taj Cycle Company.

More about Shahanaz:

Education: SSLC in Lady Hill Victoria Girl High School Languages known: Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu, Beary, Urdu and Hindi

Experience and Achievements:

  • Worked as a columnist in Kannada Jana Antaranga’Daily, from 1998 – 2000.
  • Writing articles and stories in various dailies, weeklies, monthlies and newspapers for the last 24 years.
  • Tiruvugalu (short stories)  was published in 1999.
  • Received Attimabbe Prathisthana's ‘Sahitya Neelaganga Endowment award from Kannada Sahitya Parishat
  • Mettalugalu (short stories) was published in 2000
  • Antarangada Maatu ('Expressions of Inner Self') published in 2001
  • ‘Mahakavi Shadakshari Sahitya’ award from Yalandoor Amba Prakashana, period of 2001-02
  • Gold medal winner in Kannada poetry contest on the subject of ‘Blood Donation’ conducted jointly by Muslim Lekhakiyara Sangha and Blood Brain Biom Banking Trust at Mangalore on August 18, 2002
  • ‘Kittoor Rani Chennamma’ award from Child and Women’s Welfare Department, Government of Karnataka, period 2001 – 02
  • Awala Dhwani ("Her Voice" - short stories)  published in 2004
  • ‘Sourabha’ award from Suma Sourabha Kannada Karavali Fortnightly, period 2004
  • Karnataka Rajyotsava district-level award 2005

Memberships

Life member – Kannada Sahitya Parishat
Member – Goroor Prathisthana, Bangalore
Life Member – Karavali Lekhakiyara Wachakiyara Sangha
Member - Pandeshwar Hita Rakshana Vedike

At present, she is the president of Muslim Mahila Sahithya Sangha since 1997, founder-president of Sahana Women's Counselling (commenced in 2000), editor of Anupama Kannada monthly magazine for women (since 2000).

Hobbies: Reading, gardening, writing novels and stories, speeches, participating in women’s functions and social service.

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