By P.T. Bopanna
I have been working on putting together all my Kodagu-related papers, documents and article clippings with a view to hand them over to the library at Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa Government College, Madikeri in Kodagu (Coorg) district.
My papers include official documents relating to Kodagu’s Jamma land tenure, firearms exemptions given to Kodavas (Coorgs) and articles on Kodagu written by me in the last two decades. There are also maps, and papers related to my journalism course at Bhavan’s Mumbai where I studied my post-graduate diploma in journalism.
In this herculean task, I have been helped by K. Eshwar Rao, who works at a printing unit near my house located in First Block Jayanagar East, Bengaluru. He has been in the printing line for 55 years.
The idea for putting together my papers came when I had been to his shop a few months ago for binding a book. He had done a meticulous job. This prompted me to think of organising my papers related to Kodagu as I was keen to pass them on to FMKMC College where they have started a M.A. degree course in Kodava language.
It may be recalled that two years ago, I had donated copies of all my books to FMKMC College.
I felt the books will be useful for the students to understand the contemporary issues pertaining to the district.
Since some of my books were out of print, I had saved a few copies for donation as the books could be made available for reference in one central place. For some of the books, I had multiple copies with me which I sent to the college. I had similarly donated my books previously to the Cauvery College at Gonikoppal in Kodagu.
I have been informed by the FMKMC College librarian Dr C. Vijayalatha that my books are put to good use by the students after the Mangalore University started M.A. degree course in Kodava language.
The college authorities have created a special space for my books in the shelf devoted to Kodagu culture.