The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee conferred the 47th Jnanpith Award for the year 2011 on Pratibha Ray on 22 May 2013 at Balyogi Auditorium in New Delhi.
The award includes cash prize of 11 lakh Rupees, a citation as well as bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.
About Dr. Pratibha Ray
• Pratibha Ray was born in Alabol, a village in Jagatsingpur district of Odisha.
• She is the first Oriya woman and fourth Oriya writer to get the coveted award. Prior to her, Sitakant Mahapatra (1993), Sachidananda Rout Roy (1986) and Gopinath Mohanty (1973) were the other Oriya writers to be conferred with this award.
• Her first novel was Barsa Basanta Baishakha in 1974, for which she was recognised as a writer for the first time.
• The most acclaimed work of Pratibha Ray was Yajnaseni, for which she received Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust’s Moorti Devi Award in 1991. She was the first woman to be conferred with this prestigious Moorti Devi Award in 1991.
• Apart from this, she also won various awards such as Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award, Moortidevi Award by Bharatiya Jnanpith and Saptarshi Award.
• Pratibha Ray has 20 novels, 24 short stories, 10 travelogues, two poetry collections and a number of essays to her credit.
• Her literary works have been translated into not just English, but various other foreign languages and various Indian languages as well.
• Pratibha Ray is one of the most widely read Oriya novelists and short story writers.
• She is also renowned for her role of woman’s voice.
• Her works revolve around various themes such as racial consciousness, mythology, lifestyle, fiction, rural culture and many more. Her novels have various subject matters as well as interests.
About the Jnanpith Award
• The Jnanpith Award is one of the highest literary honours of India. Other honour includes Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.
• This award was instituted first in 1961 and is presented by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust founded by Sahu Jain family, the publishers of The Times of India newspaper.
• Any Indian citizen who presents his/her work in any official Indian language can be eligible for this award.
• G. Sankara Kurup was the first one to receive this award in 1965.
• Post 2011, the cash prize of this award has been increased from 7 lakh Rupees to 11 lakh Rupees.
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