Upendra Bhanja Award Conferred On Odia Poet Ramakanta Rath In Berhampur

Sunil Patnaik

Berhampur: The Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award for Literature and Arts was conferred on eminent Odia poet Ramakanta Rath at a function in the city on Sunday.

The award, instituted by the Berhampur University, was presented to Rath on the occasion of 56th foundation day function of the university. While receiving the award, Rath said ‘Baidehisabilash’, ‘Subhadra Parinaya’, ‘Labanyabati’ and other creations of Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja contributed immensely to Odia literature.

“Though the words used by Upendra Bhanja were mostly not understood by the common man, the ‘Bhanja Sahitya’ has dominated Odia literature and remain highly popular. Without the contribution of Kabi Samrat, the Odia language could not have reached the height it has reached now,” Rath added.

Rath, one of the renowned pets of Odisha, has several books to his credit. Many of his poems such as ‘Kete Dinara’ (1962), ‘Aneka Kothari’ (1967), ‘Sandigdha Mrigaya’ (1971), ‘Saptama Ritu’ (1977), ‘Sachitra Andhara’ (1982), ‘Sri Radha’ (1984) and ‘Palataka’ (1997) have been translated into English and other Indian languages.

The  university also awarded ‘Dakhina Odisha Loka Sanskruti Samman’ to Rajendra Mahapatra, the exponent of Sankha and Ranapa dance and Shanti Kabasi, guru of Koya dance. Playwright and research scholar on folk dance Manmath Kumar Satpathy and eminent litterateur Krishna Chandra Tripathy were felicitated with ‘Angavastra’ for their contributions to their respective fields.

Speaking on the occasion, eminent poet and writer from Sambalpur Dr Haladhar Nag said the creations of Rath would lead the society for ages. Vice-chancellor of the university Prof Govind J Chakrapani also spoke.

Berhampur University was established on January 2, 1967 and its campus named Bhanja Vihar to perpetuate the memory of Upendra Bhanja, one of the most eminent poets of medieval Odisha.

Sunil Patnaik

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