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
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.
- 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
- 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.
- kannITi keraTAla vennela (1988):
An introduction to world cinema. Examines the trends in
- mAnavi (1989): Story of a woman who understands the need
for women to safeguard themselves against the destructive
of the patriarchal family.
- 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.
- 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
Stories in both these collections speak of the thinking and
politics that surround women's bodies.
- rAjakIya kathalu (1992)
- prayOgaM (1995)
- vALLu aaruguru (1995): A Play built around six of Chalam's
- ataDu, Ame, manaM (1983) - A review of a novel by
Uppala Lakshmana Rao written in the context of the nationalist
Translations (from English to Telugu)
- Agnes Smedley's Stories (1984)
- Daughter of Earth (1985)
- Alexandra Kollontai's Three Generations (1989)
- Oriana Falacci's Letter to a Child Never Born (1990)
- Ariel Darfman's Widows (1994)
- mAku gODalu lEvu (1989): Feminist essays.
- nIli mEghAlu (1993):
An anthology of feminist poetry in Telugu.
- nUrELLa Chalam (1994): Critical essays on the works of Chalam,
a renowned Telugu Writer whose centenary was celebrated in 1994.
- sArAMSaM (1994): A report of the women's anti-liquor struggle
in Andhra Pradesh, India.
- sarihaddulu lEni saMdhyalu (1995): A collection of essays on
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.
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
- Nandi award (Best story) for tODu,
Government of Andhra Pradesh (1998)
- Best Woman Writer Award, Telugu University (1999)
- 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
- Chinese Cultural Revolution- Mao, 1982
- Marxism and the Family, 1985
Asmita Resource Centre For Women
10-3-96, Plot 283, 4th floor
Street 6, Teachers' Colony
Secunderabad 500 026 India
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