President urges litterateurs to guide masses

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Sangli, Maharashtra, Jan 19 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today said litterateurs can guide people in meeting the new challenges facing them and also the challenges likely to come in the future.

The President was speaking at the 81st Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan which commenced at the Willingdon College grounds here today.

Mankind today, she said, is faced with numerous problems -- problems of corruption, terrorism, deterioration in human values, illnesses like cancer, and degradation of the environment.

Further, there has been a perceptible degradation in family values, the President said, while urging the litterateurs to focus on such issues and guide the masses.

Earlier, the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation and Sangli Zilla Parishad felicitated the President.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, speaking on the occasion, urged the Marathi litterateurs to pen literature that will not only win acclaim at the national level but also in international level.

The State government, he said, will extend all possible help to the litterateurs.

Mr Deshmukh sympathised with the Marathi-speaking people living in the Maharashtra-Karnataka borders, and their struggle to merge with Maharashtra. He said Maharashtra had taken up the matter with the Supreme Court in order to seek justice for these people.

The Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan is being held in Sangli after 64 years.

Earlier, a ''granth dindi (books procession)'' was taken out in Sangli city last evening.

UNI BBK MAZ DS AS1618

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