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Munshi Premchand: India celebrates 136th Birth Anniversary of the Great Saint-Poet, Reformer and Philosopher

Premchand was one of the most notable novelists of Hindi literature and the aura of this literature would not have been so sparkling without him

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Munsi Premchand. Image source: belaljafri.wordpress.com
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  • Premchand was born as Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava in a village Lamahi near Varanasi on July 31, 1880
  • Premchand had first adopted a pseudo name ‘Nawab Rai’ and wrote his first novel, ‘Asrar e Ma’abid’
  • ‘Mangalsutra’ was the novel, which never completed as he became terribly ill during his last years

Beauty doesn’t need ornaments. Softness can’t bear the weight of ornaments” – a quote by Munshi Premchand, for Munshi Premchand on his birth anniversary. He doesn’t need any introduction, as his works and words have always found a way to the deepest inner spaces in people’s hearts.

NewsGram remembers Premchand on his 136th Birth Anniversary and here are few lines about him that will certainly bring you closer to the luminary and know him better as a person, the one who enlightened India and the world with his extraordinary ideas.

Premchand was one of the most notable novelists of Hindi literature. The aura of Hindi literature would not have been so sparkling without him. His softness was the part which helped him to relate to the people and the situations.

Munshi Premchand. Image Source: freehindibooksforyou.blogspot.com
Munshi Premchand. Image Source: freehindibooksforyou.blogspot.com

Here are some facts about Munshi Premchand-

  • Premchand was born as Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava in a village Lamahi near Varanasi on 31st July 1880. He was known for his modern Hindustani literature and was also conferred as Upanyas Samrat (king of novels).
  • Premchand’s mother died when he was just 7 and father was soon remarried. He did not have a good relationship with his stepmother. Premchand became gloomy after his mother’s demise and found comfort in reading. Since then he had become an avid reader.

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  • He married at an age of 15, but the marriage failed. Later he married a child widow, Shivarani Devi, in 1906. This step was revolutionary at that time and faced lots of criticism.
  • After his father’s demise, he became responsible for his step-mother and step-siblings. He had to discontinue his studies to earn for the family.
  • His first job was a tuition teacher at an age of 15 to a lawyer’s child and was given only Rs. 5 per month. It was only in 1900 he was offered a job as a teacher in Bahraich at District Government school. During this time, he started writing novels.
  • Premchand had faced poverty throughout his life. There was a time when he took a loan of two-and-a-half rupees to buy new clothes and it took him 3 years for the repayment of the loan.

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  • Premchand had first adopted a pseudo name ‘Nawab Rai’ and wrote his first novel, ‘Asrar e Ma’abid’, which deals with the corruptions among the priests and sexual exploitation of poor women.
Godaan by Munshi Premchand. Image Source: amazon.in
Godaan by Munshi Premchand. Image Source: amazon.in
  • In 1921, when Gandhiji asked the people to leave their jobs, Munshi Premchand left his job despite the financial crisis and responsibility of his wife and children.
  • After leaving his job, he came back to Varanasi and started his own printing press, named ‘Saraswati’ in 1923. Due to a financial crisis in 1934, he worked as a scriptwriter in Ajanta Cinetone production house and had written the script of the film-‘Mazdoor.
  • His most famous novel ‘Godaan’ was among his last works. The novel was later translated into English and made into a Hindi film in 1963. ‘Mangalsutra’ was the novel, which never completed as he became terribly ill during his last years. Unfortunately, he breathed his last on 8 October, 1936.

– by Aparna Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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  • Akanksha Sharma

    His stories are great. I read a lot of stories written by him in school and Idgah was my favourite

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World Hunger To Rise Due To Climate Change: WFP

The number of people suffering from hunger because of climate change-induced drought is rising particularly in Africa and Latin America.

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Malnourished and displaced Somali children sit in a tent in their camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. VOA

The World Food Program warns climate change will have a devastating impact on agriculture and the ability of people to feed themselves. The WFP forecasts a huge increase in worldwide hunger unless action is taken to slow global warming.

The WFP warns progress in reducing global hunger is under threat by conflict and the increase in climate disasters. For the first time in several decades, the WFP reports the number of people suffering from chronic food shortages has risen.

This year, it says, 821 million people went to bed hungry, 11 million more than the previous year.

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Gatdin Bol, 65, who fled fighting and now survives by eating fruit from the trees, sits under a tree in the town of Kandak, South Sudan. VOA

Gernot Laganda, WFP’s chief of Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction, notes the number of climate disasters has more than doubled since the early 1990s. He says extreme weather events are driving more people to flee their homes, leading to more hunger.

He told VOA the situation will get much worse as global temperatures rise.

“We are projecting that with a two-degree warmer world, we will have around 189 million people in a status of food insecurity more than today. And, if it is a four-degrees warmer world, which is possible if no action is taken, we are looking beyond one billion more. So, there is a very, very strong argument for early and decisive climate action,” said Laganda.

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Faduma Hussein Yagoub, a polio sufferer, came with her family to Dadaab from Somalia. Her husband and two of her five young children died of hunger on the way. Despite the dangers thousands of refugees every week are making the journey, walking for weeks across the desert and braving attacks by armed robbers and wild animals:

Data from this year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report by six leading U.N. agencies show the bulk of losses and damages in food systems are due to drought and most of these disastrous events occur in Africa.

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Laganda says the number of people suffering from hunger because of climate change-induced drought is rising particularly in Africa and Latin America. He notes that until recently progress in Asia had led to a reduction in world hunger, but that trend has slowed markedly. (VOA)