BHUBANESWAR: The prestigious Sarala Puraskar founded by IMFA Charitable Trust was conferred on noted Odia litterateur Banaja Devi at a function here on Thursday. She was awarded for her compilation of Odia short stories, ‘Kaatha Pua and other stories’.Advisor of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society and former bureaucrat Mamang Dai presented the 38th Sarala award. Speaking at the event she opined that writers must try to make more connections with each other within the country not only as delegations to functions in Frankfort, London or Moscow, but also travel to different parts of their own country.
“Odisha and many parts of North East, Arunachal Pradesh in particular, share the country’s legacy of aviation. This is because the late great patriot pilot and former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik has started Kalinga airways. It was DC3s, Dakotas and all other flights and Russian sorties in the North East region were the only mode of transportation in early 1950s and 1962s during Indo-China war. The late CM also had done a couple of sorites,” she recalled.
Eminent musician Ghasiram Mishra and veteran artist Durgaprasad Das were also felicitated with Ila Panda Sangeet Samman and Ila Panda Chitrakala Samman respectively.Discussing on the literary works of Banaja Devi, trustee of IMFA Charitable Trust Paramita Mahapatra said the book ‘Kaatha Pua O Anyanya Galpa’ consisting of 20 heart-touching short stories is a rare outcome of the writer’s innermost self. The anthology of short stories is replete with various narratives designed to leave an ineffaceable touch in the hearts of readers, she said.
The award was founded by industrialist Bansidhar Panda and his wife late Ila Panda. Trustee of IMFA Charitable Trust Paramita Mahapatra was present. Among others, acting president of Sarala Advisory Board Prof Sarat Chandra Pradhan, Secretary Prof Raj Kishore Mishra and Itishree Devi also spoke.