Google Award for young Sri Lankan environmental writer | Sunday Observer

Google Award for young Sri Lankan environmental writer



A young echo-warrior, Isuru Arunoda Nakandala has been named as the ‘Youngest Research Environmental Book Author’ in the World. A book titled ‘The Horogolla National Park and the beauty of the animals we meet there’ authored by Isuru and translated by his father Harsha Udaya Kumara Nakandala won the Google recognition for Isuru. It took him two years to write the book. The awarding of the title was announced on the Google web site on August 30, 2018. With this Isuru has broken the record of a nine-year-old American girl.

Even as a toddler Isuru had been fascinated by the world around him. When it came to meal time his mother, Disna Samanthi Nisshanka would show him trees, flowers, butterflies, insects and animals to distract him and get the food down his throat.

By the time he was around three and a half-years-old Isuru had collected more than 100 different bird feathers. Even when he was very young he would run to his father with plants, flowers and leaves or anything else from the environment that captured his fancy and ask him about them.

The Nakandala’s live in Nambadaluwa, Nittambuwa and the Horogolla National Park is easily accessed from here. When he was around four and a half years old his father took little Isuru Arunoda to the Horogolla National Park for the first time. The little boy was enthralled by what he saw.

Soon, the father and son were spending more and more time at the Horogolla National Park as Isuru kept clamouring to be taken there. He saw his first crocodile here when he was five-years-old.

After he returns from the Horogolla National Park or wherever he goes Isuru draws and notes down what he has seen. According to his father, even if isuru sees a creature on a lamp post he will observe it and then draw and note it down.

At present, Isuru can recognise around 28 animals and about 12 plant species in the Horogolla National Park.

His father taught Isuru how to categorise species and to devote about quarter of an hour daily to write . Isuru finished the book in six months. He received much encouragement from his parents , Principal and teachers to write the book.

Isuru’s mother is an ayurvedic physician and at one time she was based in Mullaitivu and the family was living there. This was the time that young Isuru learnt of the Dehiwela Zoo. He gave his parents no peace till they took him to visit it. They left Mullaitivu in the wee hours of the morning and reached the zoo around 8.30 a.m. and spent many hours at the zoo. Isuru carried a drawing book with him drawing and noting all the animals he saw. This was the first of many visits to the zoo.

Isuru’s second book is ‘Mihitale daruwo’ and this too had been translated in to Englsh by his Father, a lecturer in Business Management and English as Owners of the Planet.

They were printed at great cost by Harsha Nakandala as getting a publisher was difficult. One reason was that Isuru was under 18 years of age and publishers refused to accept his work.

Isuru is a Grade Four student at St. Mary’s College, Veyangoda. A good student, he participates in many other extracurricular activities. According to the Principal of St. Mary’s College, Veyangoda , B.D.I.K. Karunaratne, Isuru Nakandala is a keen student who excels at studies and and extracurricular activities as well.

Isuru already has plans for a book on dinosaurs and wants to be a biologist when he grows up.

Isuru has been felicitated for his achievements several times.