Bangalore,Feb4 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister B SYeddyurappa today announced a special fund to encouragelitterateurs and setting up of a Rs 25 crore idol withpotential to become a Bangalore landmark.
Yeddyurappa said he would set aside Rs ten crore in theannual budget, to be unveiled this month, for the benefit oflitterateurs in financial need and also encourage authors topublish their first book.
The scheme would be implemented through the KannadaSahitya Parishath, he said, addressing the inaugural functionof the 77th "Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana" (AllIndia Kannada Literary conference).
The Chief Minister also said a mega idol of "ThayiBhuvaneshwari", the native goddess of Karnataka, would beestablished here at a cost of Rs 25 crore and work on it wouldbegin in April.
This idol would be built on a grand scale similar to"Statue of Liberty" in New York and Budhha statue in Lumbinipark in Hyderabad, he said, adding, it would emerge as amust-see attraction for those visiting Bangalore.
President of the Sammelana, G Venkatasubbaiah, made anappeal to preserve and promote Kannada language, before anenthusiastic throng of hundreds of delegates at NationalCollege grouds, where the three-day meet commenced.
Venkatasubbaiah, a well-known Kannada lexicographer,appealed to the State Government to make Kannada a compulsoryfirst language in schools from first to tenth standard.
He advocated using Kannada in all applications inGovernment offices, and their rejection if given in otherlanguages. "Officials who don''t follow this must be punished".
Kannadigas have dwindled to 30 per cent in Bangalorepopulation, Venkatasubbaiah said and urged industry housesemploying non-Kannadigas here to promote the local languageamong the staff.
He appealed to the Government to extend the "Yashaswini"insurance scheme, meant for people below the poverty line, tolitterateurs as well.
Outgoing President of the Sammelana, Geeta Nagabhushana,stressed the need for making more women to head sucha conference, noting that only four women had becomePresident in the history of the event.
She also said rural folk and farmers, who play a key rolein usage and promotion of Kannada, are migrating because ofpoor economic conditions, putting the language to jeopardy.
To counter this, there is a need to generate large-scaleemployment in rural areas,she said.
The venue of the meet, an annual get-together oflitterateurs, poets and lovers of the language, wore a festivelook. It is being held here after a gap of 40 years.