By P.T. Bopanna*
I have begun work on my new book ‘Coorg Role Models’. In the book, I plan to profile the winners of the ‘Coorg Person of the Year’ title. So far, 17 persons have won the Coorg Person title.
The concept of Coorg Person title first took shape in 2005. Kodavas, a microscopic minority community hailing from Kodagu (Coorg) in Karnataka, were once known for their leadership qualities. This Kodava trait of being natural leaders was very much in evidence in the Defence services and Kodagu came to be known as the ‘Land of the Generals’.
However, in the last few decades, the community has not produced many truly outstanding men and women, except in the arena of sports.
As a chronicler of Kodagu, I felt one of the reasons for their inability to play leadership roles, was the absence of enough ‘role models’ in the community.
With a view to develop role models, in 2005, I started conducting a poll through my news portal www.coorgtourisminfo.com, to select the ‘Coorg Person of the Year’.
There has been no looking back since then. Every year, I conduct a poll to select the Coorg Person for that year. The final choice is made by me after going through the feedback I receive from the members of my Facebook groups and pages, numbering more than 25,000.
Dr Kavery Nambisan, a novelist and medical practitioner, was selected as the first Coorg Person of the Year in 2005. In 2018, there were two joint winners, including industrialist Ashok Kumar Shetty.
In 2020, Dr Sanjana Kattera (in picture), a corona warrior who was part of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trial team, was the Coorg Person. Coorg-born Dr Sanjana was part of the vaccine trial team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
Oxford-AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine is going to play a major role in controlling the pandemic in India. In India, the Oxford vaccine’s trials are being carried out by the Serum Institute of India. All hopes of Indians are focussed on the efficacy of the vaccine which is best suited to Indian conditions. It is a matter of pride for Kodagu that one of her daughters was part of the Oxford team.
Initially, I plan to bring out an e-book of Coorg Role Models, because nowadays the demand for physical books have gone down as people are reluctant to visit book shops due to the pandemic.
My last book ‘My Coorg Chronicles’ was published early last year. So far, I have authored seven books. All my books are available on Amazon Kindle.
*P.T. Bopanna is a Bengaluru-based author and journalist.