“As I can’t hold a pen in my hand, I tap my finger on the mobile phone,” says Shraddha Garad, 35, who has been physically disabled since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. in 2014. But after many taps of her right index finger, she published her first book in Konkani in 2020 and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar.
“The cell phone is the only source I have. Writing is a lifeline for me. It is only by writing that I have happiness”, says the woman in the wheelchair.
Garad, who holds an MA in Konkani, said his first book Kavya Parmal – a collection of his poems – had won him accolades and his book on “Stories for Children” was on the way and due out next month. Four more books are in the works and she hopes to complete her sixth book next year.
Garad was among four literary personalities from Goa who were congratulated at Raj Bhavan by PS Governor Sreedharan Pillai on Saturday. Laureate Jnanpith Damodar Mauzo, among Goa’s most eminent writers, was also congratulated.
Two days before India’s 75th Independence Day, Pillai said, “What is freedom…we already enjoy political freedom but in the literary field and the cultural field, the social field, freedom is a subjective concept. We must give freedom to all. As far as the unity of the nation is concerned, art and literature are important. What is the basis of democracy? The right to differ, to criticize others. We can give maximum importance to opposition parties… our minds are not closed.
With the intervention of Goa Raj Bhavan, Garad, a resident of Davorlim in South Goa, received treatment at Goa Medical College with the help of Rs 1 lakh from the Governor’s discretionary fund.