Demand For Postage Stamp On Legendary Odia Poet Gangadhar Meher In His Centenary Year

Bhubaneswar: Demand for unveiling a postage stamp in honour of legendary Odia poet Gangadhar Meher is gaining momentum ahead of his death centenary next year.

The Gangadhar Meher Pratisthan has submitted a letter to Chief Secretary P K Jena with the request that a postage stamp should be issued on the Centenary of his death which will happen on April 4, 2024.

A three-member team of the Pratisthan comprising former State Election Commissioner & Advisor of the Pratisthan Sanjib Chandra Hota, Former Vice Chancellor of Odisha Culture University & Chairman Narendra Kumar Mishra and Convener of the Pratisthan Mihir Meher called on the Chief Secretary recently and requested to initiate measures with the government of India to release the stamp in honour of Swababha Kabi Gangadhara Meher in April next year.

Considered as one of the prodigies in the Odia literature, the legendary poet was a literary Midas, who transformed everything into gold by the alchemic touch of his genius. He was a born poet of delicate charm. He was essentially a poet of intuition and had a penetrating insight. In almost all his writings there is a glimpse of originality.

The great poet, a household name in Odisha, was born in 1862 in a weaver family. Gangadhar Meher could study only up to the Middle Vernacular Standard, hurdling over many  disadvantages. As a young boy, he had heard the Odia Ramayana composed by Balaram Das and the Odia Mahabharata by Sarala Das and was greatly influenced by them. He also read and mastered a great number of Sanskrit books; and became proficient in both Hindi and Bengali.

The Chief Secretary has assured the team that all steps will be taken for the release of the postage stamp. Earlier, Anil Dhir, Vice President of the Eastern India Philatelists Association too had written to the Minister for Communications in regard to issue postage stamps on the luminaries of Odisha. Besides, he has also requested that the PMG Odisha should also issue a Special Cover on the poet laureate of Odisha on the occasion. Eminent artist and philatelist Hitesh Seth has also submitted his artwork which can be considered as a design for the proposed stamp.

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