The Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature organised the Seventh SAARC Writers and Translators Conference at Kathmandu (Nepal) in collaboration with Tribhuvan University and Royal Nepal Academy from 21-23 August, 2003. Incidentally, and significantly too, this was the third time a SAARC Conference was held in the mountainous region of Nepal, and the outcome of the Conference fully justified the faith that SAARC writers have in the historical and cultural traditions of Nepal and the creativity of the Nepali writers’ community, writing in different Nepali languages.
The most significant achievement of the Conference was that a large number of students of literature from English, Nepali, Newari, Maithili and Hindi Departments participated very actively.
Thirty two of these young student poets read their poems, and the session was presided over and conducted by students themselves.
Some of the participating writers and translators included:
Nepal : Prof. Padma P. Devkota, Dr. Mahendra Prasad, Dr. Durga P. Bhandari, Dr. Govinda Raj Bhattarai, Dr. Nirmal Man Tuladhar, Mr. Tulsi Prasad Bhattarai, Dr. Dambar Bir Thapa, Mr. Madhav P. Ghimire, Mr. Mohan Koirala, Mr. Tulasi Diwasa, Ms. Toya Gurung, Prof. Abhi Subedi, Mr. Dwarika Shreshta, and more than 100 students of the University. Thirty Two young writers and poets presented their creative writings and the Foundation thus helped to identify young talent in Nepal.
India : Ms. Chitra Mudgal, Mr. Manohar Shyam Joshi, Mr. Balbir Madhopuri, Prof. Sanjukta Dasgupta, Ms. Kusum Ansal, Ms. Anamika, Mr. Utpal K. Basu, Dr. Ramkumar Mukhopadhyay, Mr. Om Thanvi, Mr. Dinesh Misra, Dr. Reena Marwah, Ms. Ajeet Cour.
Pakistan : Ms. Kishwar Naheed, Mr. Minoo Bhandara, Mr. Ahmad Faraz.
Bangladesh : Dr. Hayat Mamud, Mr. Mofidul Hoque, Mr. Ramendu Majumdar.
Sri Lanka : Mr. Tissa Abeysekara
A unanimous Nepal Declaration :
The participants at the Royal Nepal Academy and Tribhuvan University unanimously adopted the NEPAL Declaration, on the occasion of the SAARC Writers and Translators Conference organized by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature, from 21st to 23rd August 2003, in collaboration with Tribhuvan University and Royal Nepal Academy:
Recognising that the SAARC Literary Interaction and Creative Connectivity has fostered and engendered a spirit of friendship and brotherhood among the SAARC nations,
Recognising that the creativity in any person, which is the choicest gift of God, starts blossoming and taking shape at the young impressionable age when the students are doing their graduation, post-graduation and doctorates in literature, and we the senior writers have our ‘dharma’, our sacred duty to listen to them, and revive the age-old tradition of young poets and creative writers going to their senior, favourite poets and writers for advice, and sometimes to polish their works with the help of senior writers with the finesse that the seniors have acquired through years of hard labour.
Recognising that at this Conference, it is also the senior writers who have come to their younger siblings to hold their hands in their creative journey,
Respecting the otherness of the others,
1. We believe that contemporary literature and writings of the region can be better known through creative translations and transcreations of writings in languages of the region,
2. We will endeavour to ensure quality translations and their faithfulness to the originals,
3. We understand that workshops for aspiring, budding writers and students of literature provide a stimulus for the harnessing of blossoming talent.
4. We also pledge our whole-hearted support to the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature for the subsequent Rounds of Literary Interactions, and hope that the next Major SAARC Writers Conference is held in Pakistan in the cities of Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi, and will witness the participation of writers from all the countries of the region.