About Riton

 

Writer Lutfor Rahman Riton was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is widely famous for writing rhymes and poems, though he also writes short stories and novels for both children and adults. He attended Nawabpur Government High School, Dhaka College and the Dhaka University.

 

Bangla Academy Dictionary of Writers  says — “Lutfor Rahman Riton is one of our most distinguished writers of childrens books. He has written for children and teenagers all kinds of rhymes, short stories and novels. But he is  best known as a rhymester. With a rare insight into child psychology, he has been able to recapture the fantastic, out-of-the ordinary ideas and impulses of the children in his innumerable works. He is also highly skilled in writing rhymes full of political themes and historical events of Bangladesh.”

 

As a professional writer, he first took up the pen and wrote rhymes against rajakars in 1979. He published a book called "Rajakar er Chhora" in 1990 which was highly appreciated by readers. Thus far, Riton has more than a hundred books published. He has been honored with numerous awards for his work. He received the Bangla Academy Award in 2007 which is considered to be the highest honor and recognition in Bengali Literature. Sikandar Abu Zafar Award (1982), Agnari Bank Children's Literature Award (1982 & 1996), Dhaka University Award (1984), Dadabhai Children's Literature Award (1999), City-Ananda Alo Literature Award (2011) and Annadashankar Award (2011) are also some of the awards that he received for his contribution in Bengali literature. He also received Television Artists and Writers Association award for writing drama series and screenplays for children. In 1987 and 1989 two of his plays “Jhontu-Pontu” and “Hoi-Choi” aired on Bangladesh Television (BTV) and were very highly appraised by the audience.

 

One of Riton's unusual short story for children, "Tokai Amin Tokai Beral" (Ragpicker Amin Ragpicker Pussy Cat), was translated in English from Bangla by the National Professor of Bangladesh, Kabir Chowdhury (b.1923). In his note Professor Kabir Chowdhury wrote —“Riton in his work captures our socio-political milieu in a manner that is at once amusing and disturbing. It is replete with humorous anecdotes, satiric observations, tender situations as well as intriguing ones created by power-hungry crooked political leaders. Ragpicker Amin Ragpicker Pussy Cat is a tale told well, a realistic tale, although at places it is reminiscent of Lewis Carrol’s inimitable fantasy Alice in wonderland. Riton’s prose is smooth flowing, his plot well-constructed, his humour spontaneous and his satire free from malice and bitterness. Ragpicker Amin Ragpicker Pussy Cat does not belong to the traditional category of children’s literature. It is an unusual work which, hopefully, both adults and youngsters will enjoy."    

 

Riton played a major role as a planner and writer in the Meena Development Project (1997) which was part of the UNICEF campaign created for equal rights and education for children, specifically female children. Riton played a key role in this movement. UNICEF published an audio CD, cassette and book about Meena “Amra Shobai Meenar Moto” that was written, scripted and directed by Riton in 2000. He worked as the First Secretary (Press) at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Tokyo, Japan (2001-2002).

 

Riton is also a member of the Bangladesh Liberation Museum and a fellow of Bangla Academy. He worked as a presenter and a host for many shows on Bangladesh Television (BTV). He was an elected council member of Bangla Academy (1999-2000). He started his career as a journalist and worked for various daily, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly magazines as reporter, sub-editor and executive editor. He was the editor and publisher of the monthly "Chhotoder Kagoj", that he created for children (1995-2001). He was also the founder editor of the monthly "Ashonno", published from Bissho Shahitto Kendro (World Literature Center), that was created for young adults. 

 

When asked why he chose to work for children, he answers, -- "The world of children is full of fantasy and innocence. As I cannot take their responsibility, I wanted to contribute in their world through my rhymes and stories, hoping to leave a mark there through my work. If they enjoy it for even one second by reading any of my rhymes, I’ll think that I’ve succeeded". When asked regarding his future plans, Riton says he wants to write rhymes for as long as he lives."

 

Riton currently resides in Canada with his wife Sharly Rahman and daughter Sabrina Sharmin Nody.