5th Yudhvir Memorial Award
Late Anant Pai
For rekindling cultural values in the mind of young Indians through the `Amar Chitra Katha' series. by Late H.E Mr. Krishan Kant, Governor, Andhra Pradesh
Shri Anant Pai is one of those rare persons who defy the course set for them by their parents and society and blaze a trail of their own on the basis of their own vision, faith and perseverance.
Though trained to be an engineer, he opted for journalism of a constructive type. His first venture called ‘Manav’ – a monthly journal dedicated to self development having failed, he took a job in the Times of India in the Books Division.
At a quiz competition which he happened to witness, he found that the knowledge of a group of Indian youngsters of the details of western historical, classical and mythological figures was matched only by the ignorance of their Indian counterparts. That moved him to new course. Leaving the Times of India in 1967, he started editing ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ series with a view to acquaint the young Indians with their cultural heritage and to promote a spirit of national unity.
In the course of that, like all pioneers he had to face financial and other hardships and had even to sell the jewelry of his wife. However, by sheer persistence, hardwork, faith and optimism, and the support and understanding of his wife he overcame all those difficulties.
Today over 430 titles have been published in the series of which over 78 million copies have been sold. ‘Krishna’ – the most popular title in the series alone had a sale exceeding 1 million copies. Some of his titles have been brought out in 38 languages of the world. Shri Pai has also been editing ‘Tinkle’ a fortnightly magazine for children using the comic medium. He has a huge fan mail from all over the world.
In 1979 he set up the Partha Institute of Personality Development to help youngsters in their transit through the crucial teens to adult life. By now he has conducted courses for over 8000 youngsters all over the country. He has also written four books on different aspects of personality development, some of which have gone into 10 prints. He has also produced two video cassettes one on the ‘Vedic Concept of Brahman’ and the second on the ‘Secret of Success’. He has given numerous lectures and written many papers at different national and international institutions. Two of his audio cassettes have been produced by CDS of America. A doctoral thesis has been done on his work in America.
Shri Pai has transformed his vision into a reality and has helped in arresting a slavish trend amongst Indian children. He has thus played a significant role in strengthening the cultural moorings of Indians and giving them a sense of self -confidence and national pride.
The Trustees of Yudhvir Foundation admire his outstanding contribution to national human resource development. They have therefore great pleasure in conferring the Fifth Yudhvir Foundation Award on Shri Anant Pai for his distinguished service, a crucial area in the life of the country. The Trustees wish him many more years of fruitful service to the nation and hope he will inspire many others to emulate him.