Eminent litterateur Sitakant Mahapatra was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship here at IDCOL Auditorium, on Saturday.
He was conferred the highest honour of Fellowship by Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.
He was presented with a shawl, a citation and a memento.
Mahapatra has the distinction of publishing 21 anthologies of poems and nine collection of essays on literature and culture and four travelogues.
He has also delivered lectures in several universities in India and abroad on Development Anthropology and Literature.
Mahapatra dedicated the Fellowship to his two poetry teachers Bhagabatkar Jagannath Das and Bhima Bhoi.
“The fervour for poetry was instilled in by my father. He had advised me to simply write, till my hands hurt,” said Mahapatra. He also added that his father’s mild response to his first poem inspired him to improve.
Speaking on the occasion, Tiwary said it was a privilege for the Akademi to honour litterateurs like Mahapatra.
He said that poets are respected for their ability to immortalise a place, object or person through their words.
The future generations see the world through the picture painted by the poets today, he added.
Mahapatra is also known for his contribution to the field of tribal poetry.
He has worked extensively to connect the dots between tribal primitive, ritual based societies and the efforts of the modern state to initiate development programmes for them.
He said he believed that he still had a child inside him and that he will stop writing poems only when the child inside him dies.
The Akademi also launched a collection of Mahapatra’s poem translated into English on the occasion.