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Chennu Mathad feted with the Dehali Kannada Sangh award

Chennu Mathad, retired Joint Director-Ministry of Agriculture Department, Government of India is a well-known personality among the Kannada cultural circles of the country’s capital New Delhi. He was recently felicitated for his contributions and accomplishments in enriching the social and cultural life of Delhi by the Dehali Kannada Sangha on the eve of the 75th-anniversary celebrations held at Talkatora stadium, New Delhi.

Since 1979 in New Delhi: Chennu Mathad hails from Dharwad, the socio-cultural capital city in Karnataka and has been a resident of Delhi since 1979. He served in the Union Agriculture Ministry for a prolonged period of 33 years before retiring as a Joint Director. If you only mention his joining, serving and retiring then it would be doing grave injustice to his unique personality as he is a multifaceted one apart from being a friendly, always helpful, kind soul.

An anthropologist by qualification: Chennu Mathad is an anthropologist by qualification. He holds a postgraduate degree from Karnataka University, Dharwad. He also has a Diploma in Journalism. But beyond these formal Degrees and Diplomas, he has a variety of diverse skill sets. He is an author, Editor, Cartoonist, and Theatre activist just to name a few while his other passions are innumerable.

Associated with several organizations: Along with several Kannada organizations based out of New Delhi, Chennu Mathad is also actively involved with many a other even in his native state. He continues to remain a sought-after person whenever any activity related to the Kannada fraternity is being thought of in New Delhi. He had been a Joint Secretary thrice and a Member twice of the Dehali Karnataka Sangha. He was also an Executive Member of the Dehali Kannada School twice. His services also include Member of, the Executive Committee of Dehali Kannada School for two terms; Vice President, of Basava International Centre; Founder Secretary and later President of Karnataka Jolada Balaga; Founder President of DINAKARA (Delhi Nagara Kalavidara Ranga); Likewise, he has served to many a other organization. He is also President of the Dharwad-based Chennarts Education Institute and Bidar-based Fine Arts College.

Editor for 33 years: Chennu Mathad functioned as an Editor to the English magazines and publications of the Union Agriculture Ministry, Government of India for 33 years continuously. He also contributed non-stop for 18 years as a Member of the Abhimata periodical, published by Dehali Karnataka Sangha. Apart from being actively associated with most of the publications of Dehali Karnataka Sangha, he has designed Monogram for many organisations and cover pages of various publications as well.

National Book Trust (NBH) publishes translations: Chennu Mathad has taught Kannada to both, Kannadigas and non-Kannadigas. Some of his translated books have been published by National Book Trust (NBT). Besides, his articles, poems, drawings and cartoons have been published in several periodicals and publications.

Cartoons to several publications:
He developed a hobby of drawing cartoons right from his college days. His cartoons have also been published in Mayura, Mallige, Tushar and Kasturi digests and many daily newspapers.

Versatile in three languages:
He is also versatile in Hindi and English, apart from Kannada. Hence, his cartoons and writings have also been published in Dharmayug, The Illustrated Weekly, Evening News published by Hindustan Times, Graffiti, Misha once published by former Soviet Russia, Mati Mudeer, Home Science, Agriculture, Agricultural Extension Review, Sainik Samachar, Samyukta Karnataka, Dehali Varte and many a other publication.

Playwright and Director of three Kannada play: Chennu Mathad has so far scripted three dramas and he himself has also acted and directed them. He had also been closely associated with the Video Production wing of the Union Agriculture Ministry and contributed several video productions to the Krishi Darshan Doordarshan program. Recently, he has also worked on an animated campaign film for the Information and Broadcasting Department, Government of India.

An accomplished Artist: He developed an interest in drawing even before joining the school and continued it as a hobby. A self-taught artist, he started bagging awards at different drawing competitions at the school and college levels. Chennu Mathad emerged victorious at the “All India Portrait Painting Competition”, organized by the New Delhi Youngsters Club in 1974. He has also taken part in many prestigious exhibitions, exhibiting his artworks. Not just drawing, painting and cartooning, he has also developed multiple skill sets for coming up with artworks in stone carving, clay modelling and plaster of Paris. His miniature artwork forms continue to be exhibited from his college days. Not just these alone, he is also an expert in drawing the “femme forte” Rangolis’ as well!

A child artist: His rubbing of shoulders on the stage began while he was only in the first standard. He did the role of a magician and tribal artisan in the same standard and this tendency continued till 7th standard in all annual day celebrations. While in the seventh standard, he joined the drama classes and won laurels for his role in the legendary T.P Kailasam’s skit “Poli Kitti”. His dramatic innings got wide exposure in the eighth standard as he got trained under Sriranga, revered as a Godfather of dramatics. He acted in “Ekodararu”, written by N.K. Kulkarni, which led to repeat shows. During his college days, he himself wrote many plays and also acted in all of them. He took part in the Samudaya repertoire in 1977.

Over to New Delhi:
Following his education and getting a job, he shifted to New Delhi in 1979 and ever since he has been a resident of the country’s capital. Initially, he took some time to get acquainted with the atmosphere of New Delhi. But, once he started mingling with the Kannada crowd by actively taking part in the activities of Dehali Karnataka Sangha, his sphere of social life soon spread to many a other Kannada organization.

Costume and Stage Designer: His areas of activities look to be multifaceted for keenly evincing enthusiasm in all possible cultural activities. “Kamali, Kolli, Devaru Yeddu Bandaga” are some of the popular dramas he enacted in. He also wrote and directed “Amma” drama. Thanks to his entry into the Mandi House cultural arena of Delhi, he got an opportunity to shoulder a variety of responsibilities with the top-notch in the national cultural sphere. Recently, he was involved with the repertoire of the National School of Drama, Shreeram Centre for Art and Culture. He worked for well-known directors of Mandi House circles like Madhavane and Rajendran et al as a consultant for costumes and stage design to Hindi versions of Kannada plays like “Tughalaq, Agni mattu Male and Hittina Hunja”. His services were also in demand for Sanskrit dramas, “Pratima Natakam" and "Priyadarshika” and the English play, “An Appointment with Death” for backstage assignments.

A friendly, soft-spoken humble gentleman Chennu Mathad is highly respected and loved among all socio-cultural circles of the capital. May his tribe increase?

-Manohar Yadavatti


  1. Multifaceted person. Very interesting to know about Shri Chennu Mathad accomplishments. Really remarkable achievements. I get new energy by reading about such wonderful personality to do more. Thanks Manoharji for your wonderful article.

  2. congratulations


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