Eminent odia poet, Padmabhusan Ramakant Rath has been nominated to receive the prestigious Sarala Samman for the year 2011 for his outstanding contribution to oriya literature continuously for the past few decades.
The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 50,000, a bronze memento and a citation, would be conferred on Ramakant Rath by Governor of Assam Janaki Ballav Patnaik on the 31st Foundation Day celebrations of the Sarala Sansad at Sarala Bhawan on November 26, , said sansad secretary Pravakar Swain.
Ramakanta Rath is one of the most renowned modernist poets in the Oriya literature. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, Saraswathi Samman in 1992, Bishuva Samman in 1990 and India’s 3rd highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 2006. He was the Vice President of the Sahitya Academy of India from 1993 to 1998 and the President of the Sahitya Akademi of India from 1998 to 2003, New Delhi. In February 2009 he was awarded a fellowship by the Central Sahitya Akademi, the fifth Oriya writer to be so honoured. A number of his poems have been translated into English and other Indian languages.
Ramakanta Rath penned several epic pieces, including
“Kete Dinara” (Of a Long Long Time), 1962
“Aneka Kothari” (Many Rooms), 1967
“Sandigdha Mrigaya” (Suspicious Hunting), 1971
“Saptama Ritu” (The Seventh Season), 1977
“Sachitra Andhara” (Picturesque Darkness), 1982
“Sri Radha” (Sri Radha), 1984
“Sri Palataka” (Mr. Escapist), 1997.
This literary award, ‘Sarala Samman’ is considered as a prestigious award in the State of Odisha. Previously this award was not given to literateurs who had received national awards such as Jnanapitha, Saraswati, Murti Devi and Central Sahitya Akademi Awards. In the Silver Jubilee year of the Sansad, the previous decision has been changed and all literateurs of Odia language are being considered for the conferment of the award.
The scholars and literateurs who have been honoured with Sarala Samman till date are: Dr. Krushna Chandra Panigrahi, Sri Surendranath Mohanty, Dr. Bansidhar Mohanty, Dr. Krushna Chandra Sahu, Dr. Dinabandhu Rath, Dr. Kunja Bihari Tripathy, Dr. Satya Narayan Rajguru, Prof. Bhubaneswar behera, Phaturananda, Smt. Brahmotri Mohanty, Sri Rajkishor Ray, Prof. Pathani Pattnayak, Prof. (Dr.) Janaki Ballav Mohanty (Bharadwaj), Prof. Chintamani Behera, Prof. Gangadhar bal, Sri Achyutananda Pati, Sri Sahadeva Sahu, Sri Srinibas Udgata, Dr. Bichitrananda Mohanty and Dr. Hemanta Kumar Das (Joint Awardees), Sri Satakadi Hota, Sri Bipin Bihiri Mishra, Sri Manoj Das, Dr. Sitakanta Mohapatra, Sri Jadunath Dasmohapatra, Dr. Dasarathi Das, Prof. Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo and Jayanta Mohapatra.