Prathiba Ray to receive Amrita Keerthi

via published on September 25, 2006

As part of Amma’s upcoming 53rd birthday celebrations, Smt. Pratibha Ray will be awarded the Ashram’s Amrita Keerti Puraskar for her meritorious contributions to the field of Indian literature. Ray is an award-winning writer from Orissa who has captured reader’s hearts through insightful narratives that often shed light on historical and mythological characters of India’s collective consciousness.

Roy’s most acclaimed work is Yajnaseni (1985), a novel that reconstructs the life of Draupadi, the enigmatic heroine of the Mahabharata. Written in Roy’s mother tongue of Oriya, Yajnaseni has since been translated into seven different languages. The book also won for Ray the Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust’s Moorti Devi Award (1991), making her the first woman to receive the honour. It also won the Sarala Award of Orissa in 1990.

pratibha ray

Other important works by Ray include Mahamoh (1997), a classic novel on Vedic culture that illumines misunderstood and misinterpreted characters from Indian literature, especially Ahalya, the unfaithful wife of Gautama Rishi in Valmiki’s Ramayana. Shilapadma (1983) is an inspired novel that explores the legends associated with the world-famous Sun Temple in Konark, Orissa. And Uttarmarg (1988) is a novel based on the suffering of neglected heroes of the freedom struggle in rural Orissa. Roy’s most recent novel, Magnamaari (2003), is centred on the cyclone that ravaged Orissa in 1999.

Roy’s work is unsparing in its indictments of social evils and injustice, and the writer has often raised her voice against social injustice and corruption in society.

The Amrita Keerti Puraskar comprises a cash prize of Rs. 123,456, a handcrafted idol of Saraswati Devi and a Certificate of Commendation from the Ashram.

The Ashram first began presenting the Amrita Keerti Award in 2001 “to seek out and honour those deserving personalities who have helped to promote a healthy society through the preservation of the ancient and enduring human values of Sanatana Dharma.”

The cash prize rendered through this award is intended to support the recipients, helping them to be financially in a position to continue to dedicate their life to their noble pursuits, and thereby foster the cultural heritage of India.

Since the award’s inception in 2001, it has gone to: Sri. P. Narayana Kurup (2005 Kerala State Award), Mahakavi Akkitham Achyuthan Nambootiri (2004 Kerala State Award), Dr. Shankar Abhyankar (2003 National Award), Professor Harihara Shastri (2003 Kerala State Award), Sri. P. Parameshwaran (2002 Kerala State Award) and Acharya Narendra Bhushan (2001 Kerala State Award).

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