BHUBANESWAR: The Sarala Puraskar for 2016 was conferred on poet Hrushikesh Mallick for his outstanding contribution to Odia literature here on Wednesday. Eminent Kannada writer Chandrasekhar Kambar gave away the award carrying a cash prize of `five lakh and a citation to Mallick for his work ‘Jeje Dekhi Nathiba Bharat’.
On the occasion, Dr Gopal Chandra Panda was awarded with Ila Panda Memorial Music Samman while Dr Dinanath Pathi posthumously received the Ila Panda Memorial Art Samman. The awards carried a cash prize of `1.5 lakh along with citations.
Kambar said Indian languages and literature which share a common history are under threat from English. “English today threatens to dominate over all our languages,” he said and added that the only solution to this distressing scenario is translation. “It is not just our languages that are shrinking under the influence of globalisation. Our memories, hopes and thoughts are threatened by this alien language. Our languages have to survive the onslaught of English for our literature to grow,” he said.
President of Sarala Advisory Body and writer Santanu Acharya said Odia literature is getting marginalised as it is no longer being considered a necessity by the masses. “This is because the future generation of Odisha is not interested in its language and literature,” he said.
The annual Sarala Award was instituted in 1979 by Indian Metals Public Charitable Trust (IMPaCT), the charitable wing of IMFA Group.