The famous poet and litterateur, Professor Ramdarash Mishra, will receive the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2021, for his collection of poems “Mein to Yahan Hun”, the KK Birla Foundation announced in a statement on Monday.
Established in 1991, Saraswati Samman is one of the country’s most prestigious literary awards. It is awarded annually to an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language by an Indian citizen and published within the last 10 years. He wears a citation, plaque and prize money from ₹15,000,000. The recipient is chosen by a selection committee, the current head of which is Dr. Subhash C Kashyap, former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Born on August 15, 1924 in Dumri village, Gorakhpur district, Uttar Pradesh, Mishra excelled in different branches of Hindi literature. In a career spanning decades, the 98-year-old has to his credit 32 collections of poetry, 15 novels, 30 collections of short stories, 15 books of literary criticism, four collections of essays, travelogues and several memories. He was also a prominent member of different Hindi advisory committees in various government departments and retired as a professor in the Hindi department of Delhi University.
In ‘Mein to Yahan Hun’, the literary mainstay highlights different aspects of inner life, societal concerns, communalism, corruption, human perspectives, exploitation of Dalits, disturbing urban cities, exuberance of seasons and climatic concerns. In the collection, published in 2015, he writes: “I have written in many genres. Whatever form of text fascinated me, I continued my journey. Sometimes the journey was short and sometimes long too. But now I don’t have much energy left to ride long trails. So my expressions are now either a short poem or the writing of a diary, which ultimately shaped this book.