Vani Prakashan ventures into English Publishing

One of the leading publishers in Hindi and other Indian languages for the past 56 years – Vani Prakashan — recently announced the establishment of its English imprint Vani Book Company with the launch of first published book – Katihar To Kennedy: The Road Less Travelled by Sanjay Kumar.

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Katihar To Kennedy: The Road Less Travelled by Sanjay Kumar was launched by Vani Book Company, the newly launched English imprint of Vani Prakashan.

The book launch was followed by an invigorating discussion on Grassroots Development in India: Neo- Millennial Story, which saw author Sanjay Kumar in discussion with author and diplomat Pavan Kumar Varma; author and screenwriter Advaita Kala; principal, Shiv Nadar School, Shashi Banerjee and Grassroots community leader Kari-ben who shared their insights on the state of grassroots community and their development in the country. The discussion was moderated by poet and public speaker Saumya Kulshrestha.

Publisher, Aditi Maheshwari said on the occasion, “The House of Vani is metamorphosing into a global cultural space preserving the rich intellectual tradition of 56 glorious years. Vani Book Company merely picks up where Vani Prakashan leaves off and is now ready to bring to its reader a rich and diverse list of original writing and translations in English.”

Katihar to Kennedy is an autobiographical account of Sanjay Kumar’s life as a small-town boy who started his journey from a small town of Katihar in Bihar, one of India’s economically backward districts and reached the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The journey also depicts the inner conflicts of a man and his continuous efforts to overcome all the difficulties in his path while fighting with his inner shortcomings.

The discussion started with Sanjay Kumar, author of the book sharing how his own bitter sweet experiences led him to write this book. Kumar, who currently serves as the India Country Director of The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University and was involved in leadership positions with SEWA Movement for about two decades said, “What one can take away from the book is how as a society we can help stopping further deterioration of public institutions and education system.”

On the occasion of the release, diplomat and author Pavan K Varma added that the book is inspirational because of the extraordinary courage and resilience it showed in Kumar as a person. Noted screenwriter and author, Advaita Kala, while congratulating the author and stating that the book was really about hope, drew parallels with her own state of Uttarkhand where there aren’t enough teachers and those that are there, never come to school due to tough socio-economic and infrastructural challenges. Principal Shashi Banerjee shared that Katihar to Kennedy, is like a commentary on education system and on how it should be.

Sharing initiatives of Vani Group, Aditi added, “One of the our main initiatives to promote and preserve regional literature is The Distinguished Translator Award under the aegis of Vani Foundation which has been established to recognize the contribution of translators and translation as an art and bridges the gap between English and other Indian Languages. A sum of Rs 1 lakh is awarded under this scheme. The other worth mentioning contribution is Hindi Mahotsav which celebrates the best creations of Hindi, English and other Indian Languages and encourages intellectual discussion on art, culture and Literature.”

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