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Odia Writer Manoj Das
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An eminent author, humanitarian, and philanthropist, Manoj Das was born on the 27th of April 1934 in the Balasore district of Odisha, whose significant contribution to the field of literature has an everlasting imprint on people. His first work, a book of poetry in Odia, “Satavadira Artananda”, was published in 1949 when he was merely a student in high school. In 1950, he launched a magazine called “Diganta. It was in 1951 when “Samudrera Kshyudha”, a collection of short stories by him, came out. Apart from his love for literature, he was also a youth leader with revolutionary ideology during his college days, following which he had to spend a year in jail due to which he could not complete his BA degree from Cuttack College. Ultimately, he completed his graduate degree in literature from Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, situated in Puri, in 1955.

During his college days, he penned a novel named, “Jeebanora Sawada,” a short story collection, “Vishakayar Kahani,” and a poem collection, “Padadhwani,” After completing his post-graduation in English literature from Ravenshaw College, he joined as a lecturer at Christ College in Cuttack and later joined Shri Aurobindo Ashram at Puducherry. In 1959, he was a delegate to the Afro-Asian student conference in Indonesia. He was also the editor of the cultural magazine, Heritage. The distinguished author was also a member of the General Council at Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, from 1998-2002. Das also served as the author-consultant for the Ministry of Education, Singapore, from 1983 to 1985.

He was also positioned as the Leader of the Indian Delegation of writers to China in 1999. For his numerous works, which were lauded by the audience across the country, he was bestowed many accolades. In the year 2000, he was given Saraswati Samman. In 2001, the Government of India presented its fourth highest civilian honor, Padma Sri, to the eminent author. He was given the third highest civilian honor, Padma Bhusan, in the year 2020. For his remarkable artwork in literature, he was given India’s highest literary award, Sahitya Academy Fellowship, by Kendra Sahitya Academy. Manoj Das left the world in tears on the 27th of April in 2021.