The “Kanara Welfare Trust” started by Dinakar Desai, celebrated Golden Jubilee recently. It has today 37 schools in 18 centers with more than 10,000 students. The man Dinakar indeed brought sunshine to umpteen number of down trodden. He served a Member of  Indian Parliament for one term.

Dinakar means “One who makes the day” or the sun. Dinakar Desai was indeed like a sun to North Kanara district, which was dark due to abject poverty, and educational backwardness. As an educationist, social reformer, political activist, member of parliament and writer, he helped change the face of the district. Today North Kanara is in frontline along with South Kanara in literacy in Karnataka State. This was possible, as Shivaram Karanth the great litterateur, rightly observed, due to one-man-mission of Dinakar Desai.

Desai began his association with poetry by writing lengthy poems. His first publication (released in the year 1950) was called Kavana Sangraha (meaning collection of poems). Desai later published a collection of poems in 1955 called Hu Gonchalu (meaning bouquet of flowers). Hu Gonchalu contained poems such as Tarunara Dasare and Kadala Kannada.

Desai experimented with different forms of poetry and invented his signature format called chutuka which was essentially a four-line limerick. His chutukas were published in his Jansevak paper, which became popular. He wrote his chutukas in various themes, including satires, criticisms and humour. He also wrote a minor number of books for children and a travelogue called Na kanda Paduvana.

ದಿನಕರ ದೇಸಾಯಿ – Dinakara Desai
Hondakkal, Kumta taluk, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka
OccupationWriter, educationist, political activist
Literary movementChutukas