Agra, Jan 5: Satirist and columnist Piyush Pandey on Sunday dared those who had been making a show of returning awards to also return the royalty and the monetary gains made from various recognitions.
To begin a new trend, Pandey donated his advance royalty to a local non-government organisation (NGO) working for rejuvenation of the river Yamuna. The cheque was received by Shravan Kumar Singh, vice-president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society from Ashok Chakradhar.
Talking to IANS at a book release function during the National Book Fair in New Delhi, Pandey said his latest book, Kabira Baitha Debate Mein, is a collection of satires and humour pieces.
“It comes at a time when people have started believing that the level of humour has declined in our society, reflecting intolerance,” he said.
Pandey said he wanted to bring focus on the sad state of Yamuna in Agra. “Not just human life, the tourism industry and the grand Mughal monuments are dependent on the good health of Yamuna. But, unfortunately, no attention is being paid to address the problem,” he said.
“In my humble way, I am trying to draw attention of the literary community to the plight of our rivers. Writers should help support campaigns for rejuvenation of Yamuna, our life line,” said Pandey.
Chakradhar said it was a unique initiative as unique as Pandey’s style of writing, which was simple, lively and touches the heart.
Humourist Alok Puranik said writers had new challenges staring at them. Rivers could no longer be ignored. Small steps, like the one taken by Pandey, would go a long way in supporting such critical movements for the general good.