Volga

Volga Volga is the pen name of Popuri Lalitha Kumari. Born on the 27th day of November in 1950, Volga completed her M.A. in Telugu literature at Andhra University in 1972. She worked as a lecturer in Telugu at VSR & NVR College, Tenali from 1973 to 1986. Between 1986 and 1995, she worked as a senior executive for Usha Kiron Movies, Hyderabad. She was the executive president of Asmita Resource Centre for Women from 1991 to 1997. She is currently (2001) the General Secretary of Asmita, a member of the editorial collective for vaMTiMTi masi (Soot from the Kitchen) - a feminist publishing house and a member of the Telugu advisory panel for National Book Trust of India. The following is a brief summary of her literary output.

Novels

  1. sahaja (1986): A story of four friends whose lives take different paths after marriage. When they realise that marriage and family have reconstructed their lives and destroyed their creativity, they attempt to free themselves of the shackles of oppression.
  2. svEcCha (1987): The exploration of the meaning of freedom in her life by a middle class woman. The exploration leads her to give up her family - parents, husband, daughter and the organisations she works for.
  3. kannITi keraTAla vennela (1988): An introduction to world cinema. Examines the trends in feminist cinema.
  4. mAnavi (1989): Story of a woman who understands the need for women to safeguard themselves against the destructive power of the patriarchal family.
  5. AkASaMlO sagaM (1990): A novel depicting rural women's experience of oppression - the coming together of caste and gender based discrimination in their everyday life, and the importance of collective struggle.
  6. gulAbIlu (1993): A novel that explores the shifting trajectories of consciousness of a middle class woman in the context of the anti-liquor struggle. This work also looks at the negative impact of economic structural adjustment.

Short Story Collections

  1. rAjakIya kathalu (1992)
  2. prayOgaM (1995)
Stories in both these collections speak of the thinking and politics that surround women's bodies.

Plays

  1. vALLu aaruguru (1995): A Play built around six of Chalam's women characters.

Literary Criticism

  1. ataDu, Ame, manaM (1983) - A review of a novel by Uppala Lakshmana Rao written in the context of the nationalist struggle.

Translations (from English to Telugu)

  1. Agnes Smedley's Stories (1984)
  2. Daughter of Earth (1985)
  3. Alexandra Kollontai's Three Generations (1989)
  4. Oriana Falacci's Letter to a Child Never Born (1990)
  5. Ariel Darfman's Widows (1994)

Edited Works

  1. mAku gODalu lEvu (1989): Feminist essays.
  2. nIli mEghAlu (1993): An anthology of feminist poetry in Telugu.
  3. nUrELLa Chalam (1994): Critical essays on the works of Chalam, a renowned Telugu Writer whose centenary was celebrated in 1994.

Co-edited Works

  1. sArAMSaM (1994): A report of the women's anti-liquor struggle in Andhra Pradesh, India.
  2. sarihaddulu lEni saMdhyalu (1995): A collection of essays on feminist politics.

Other works

Several articles dealing with feminism and literary criticism were published in journals and newspapers. Important among these is a series that introduced western feminists (first wave and second wave) to the Telugu readership.

Films

Volga was in-charge of the script department at Usha Kiron Movies from 1986-1995. She worked on more than 15 films at the time. Volga also worked for ETV in its initial phases, and contributed to the planning of quite a few programmes.

Volga wrote lyrics for the movie "bhadraM koDukO", a recipient of two national awards. She wrote and co-directed "tODu" and "pAtanagaraM lO pasivADu" and received the nandi award (Best Writer) for the former. She translated the script of Richard Attenborough's Gandhi for the telugu version. She has also authored many T.V. Films/Scripts.

Honours and Awards

  • Best Novel Award for svEcCha, Ushodaya Publications (1987)
  • Best Novel Award for AkASaMlO sagaM, Udayam Magazine (1990)
  • Award in recognition of work done for women's causes, Telugu University (1993)
  • Nandi award (Best story) for tODu, Government of Andhra Pradesh (1998)
  • Best Woman Writer Award, Telugu University (1999)

Travel

  • Visited China in 1995 to participate in the Beijing World Conference of Women.
  • Visited USA to participate in a Workshop on Women's Human Human Rights organised by Institute of Global Leadership at Rutgers University, New Jersy.
  • Visited Bangladesh as an invitee of UNESCAP to discuss the strategies of how to implement Beijing Platform of Action.
  • Visited China in 1997 as part of cultural delegation of five writers from India to China.
  • Visited Bangkok to participate in a seminar organised by UNESCAP on the issue of G.O, N.G.O. Cooperation on developmental issues.

Political Tracts

  • Chinese Cultural Revolution- Mao, 1982
  • Marxism and the Family, 1985

Contact Info

Office:
Asmita Resource Centre For Women
10-3-96, Plot 283, 4th floor
Street 6, Teachers' Colony
East Marredpalli
Secunderabad 500 026 India

Residence:

2B, Devi Apartments, 10-4-1/A
R.K. Nagar, Masab Tank
Hyderabad-500 0028, A.P., India
Tel: +91 40 7805134

You can also reach Volga by e-mail at asmita@hd1.vsnl.net.in.


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Prasad A. Chodavarapu (prasad@bhaavana.net)
Last modified: Sat May 10 01:55:23 EDT 2003