Prof. Santanu Kumar Acharya, Working President, Sarala Award Advisory Committee, speaks to OdishaLIVE on the prestigious literary award. The award was constituted in 1980 by Indian Metals Public Charitable Trust (IMPaCT), an IMFA initiative and founded by late Ila Panda and Dr. Banshidhar Panda.
‘Sarala Award’ is considered as one of the most prestigious honour in the field of Literature, in Odia language. Every year it is being awarded to a veteran writer especially for one of his/her great work and overall contribution to the field of literature and language.
The award was constituted in 1980 by Indian Metals Public Charitable Trust (IMPaCT), an IMFA initiative and founded by late Ila Panda and Dr. Banshidhar Panda. This is year the award is going to complete 35 years of its inception. The award also connects to Goddess Sarala of Jhankada, and her devotee and great ancient writer of Odia language Sudramuni Sri Sarala Das who had written Sarala Mahabharat – an epic of Odia langauge.
Mrs. Paramita Mahapatra, renowned lady entrepreneur of the state and daughter of late Ila Panda and Dr. Banshidhar Panda, is currently holding the role of the Trustee of IMPaCT. Prof. Rajkishore Mishra and Prof. Santanu Kumar Acharya, renowned personalities and veteran writers are holding the role of Secretary and Working President, of the Award Committee, respectively. There are other renowned writers and personalities from the field of language and culture who are being a part of this committee.
The award has been offered, every year, to a stalwart Odia writer for his outstanding contribution to language and literature. Currently, the award consists of cash award of 2.5 lakhs and a citation.
For the year 2014, the Sarala Award is being given to Shri Prafulla Das, renowned writer and freedom fighter, for his biographical writing ‘Bahnimaan’. The book ‘Bahniaan’ depicts the story of later Malati Choudhury, a great freedom fighter of Odisha.
Similarly, in the category of Citation, the Dr. Shyamamani Devi, veteran Odissi singer, and Shri Shiba Panigrahi, veteran Painter, are being awarded by IMFA Trust, this year. Dr. Shyamamani Devi is considered as the one of the most respected name in the field of Odissi Classical and Folk music. Mr. Shiba anigrahi is currently holding the role of President, Odisha Lalit Kala Academy.
The above three personalities received their awards on a special function dated 26 October 2014, from Mr. Javed Akhtar, veteran Urdu poet and lyricist.
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