Eminent poets and litterateurs, including Javed Akhtar, Subdodh Sarkar and Mridula Garg, were among the 24 literary giants felicitated by the Sahitya Akademi at its annual Festival of Letters here.
"What Sahitya Akademi is offering to these literary greats is merely a gesture compared to their immense contribution to Indian literature," Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, President, Sahitya Akademi said at a function late last evening.
The Sahitya Akademi, India's National Akademi of Letters felicitated poets, authors, essayists and playwrights with awards for their works published in 24 recognised Indian languages including English.
"If only we spent a little more time reading and pondering the profound literary works that Indian authors and philosophers have produced over centuries, each one of us would benefit by their wisdom and be a better person than we are today," K Sreenivasarao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, said.
Poets including Javed Akhtar (Urdu), Subodh Sarkar (Bengali) and Ambika Dutt (Rajasthani) and renowned novelists Mridula Garg (Hindi), Manmohan (Punjabi) and R N Joe D' Cruz (Tamil) were among the awardees.
Other award winners included Rabindra Sarkar (Assamese), Anil Boro (Bodo), Sita Ram Sapolia (Dogri), Temsula Ao (English), Chinu Modi (Gujarati), C N Ramachandran (Kannada), Mohi-ud-Din Reshi (Kasmiri), Tukaram Ram Shet (Konkani) Sureshwar Jha (Maithili), M N Paloor (Malayalam), Makhonmani Mongsaba (Manipuri)
Satish Kalsekar (Marathi), Manbahadur Pradhan (Nepali), Bijay Mishra (Odia), Radhakant Thakur (Sanskrit) Arjun Charan Hembram (Santali), Namdev Tarachandani (Sindhi) and Katyayani Vidmahe (Telugu). Eminent Odiya poet Ramakanta Rath who was the Chief Guest said, "The legacy of rich Indian literature is being carried forward by the eminent personalities present here today and hundreds of others like them who have dedicated their whole lives to literary pursuits,"
The Akademi has also put up an exhibition of all award winning titles from all the 24 languages since 1954 apart from the photo exhibition where photos covering the poignant moments of the Akademi's history are also displayed.