Delhi-based Odia intellectuals’ forum announces Prabasi Bhasha Samman for 2021

New Delhi: Delhi-based Odia intellectuals’ forum, The Intellects, has announced the recipients of the Prabasi Bhasha Samman for 2021. This year, 12 noted personalities with immense contribution to various aspects of Odia language and culture will be conferred these awards.

The names were finalized by a three member jury committee, consisting of noted columnist and commentator Dr Bhagaban Prakash, Sarala Das Odia Chair Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University Dr.Udayanath Sahoo, and noted Odia poet and former ambassador of India to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay Dr AmarendraKhatua.The jury meeting, convened by Shri Debendra Nath Rout, the chairman of The Intellects was also attended by Mrs Kuku Das, president of Odisha Society of America and chairperson, Global Odisha Foundation; Dr Subasini Barik,Asso. Professor of Philosophy; Delhi University, and the secretary of The Intellects, Shri Shyamanuja Das.

The awards will be conferred on 21 February 2021, the concluding day of the annual festival of mother language, LangFest 2021.

This year, a new category of honour, the Stambha Samman, has been instituted for significant contribution to columns in Odia newspapers and magazines. This is the first time that such an honour has been instituted in Odia. The recipient of the first honour will be Shri Soumya Ranjan Pattnaik, the founder and editor-in-chief of Odia daily Sambad.

Other recipients of the Bhasha Samman 2021 will be Odissi music exponent ShrimatiShyamamani Devi; noted Odissi dance exponent Dr Ileana Citaristi; popular and prolific Odia novelist Shri Bhagirathi Das; literary organizer and author Er. Prabhakar Swain; noted journalist Shri Pradyumna Satapathy, well-known translator Dr Jatin Nayak; noted linguist Dr HaraprasadMishra; the one-man archivist of Odia music, Dr Saroj Singh; international Odia manuscript expert, Dr Asharani Das; noted artist Shri BijayBiswaal; and Prashant Bhunya, working abroad for promotion of Odia language and literature.

In the organizational category, the organizations working for Odia language are conferred the Bhasha Samman. This year, it will be conferred on IFFCO Paradeep; Odia newspaper Prameya; Gyanamandal Foundation, managing Odia encyclopaedia Gyanamandal; and Koraput Sahitya Mahotsav, working towards promoting literary exchanges in interior regions.

In addition, The Intellects honours, youth talent working towards popularizing Odia language and culture among youth. This year, the recipients will be Rapper Big Deal (Samir Rishu Mohanty), the person behind the popular Mun Heli Odia rap song; Natia YouTube cartoon channel; and Twitter handle Gajapati (Bishnu Mohan Adhikari).

The awards will be conferred virtually through an online conference on 20-21 February, due to the prevailing pandemic situation. The event, being organized jointly by the Intellects and the Global Odisha Foundation, would see participation of representatives from Odias from more than 40 countries. It will also have participation of experts from other Indian languages, including all six classical languages.

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