Cuttack, Dec. 27: The Sahitya Bharati Samman for excellence in Oriya literature (2006-2007) would be presented to popular novelist Bibhuti Pattanaik (71) this year.
The award, instituted by Gangadhar Rath Foundation, constitutes cash worth Rs 1 lakh and a silver emblem of the Sun Temple. Foundation secretary Jayant Rath said: He was chosen for his outstanding contribution to Oriya novel in 50 years.
He has written more than 50 novels and has been a trend setter in Oriya novel from social realism to socialist realism", Rath added.
Bibhuti Patnaik, who is virtually a household name in the state, received the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985 for his novel Aswamedhara Ghoda. Among his other popular novels are Sesha Basanta, Abhimana, Trutiya Purusha, Badhu Nirupama, Prathama Sakala and Sesha Ratira Surya.
Rath said the award be presented at a cultural function to be held at Kala Vikash Kendra in Cuttack on January 12.
The foundation would also give away the Bhanujee Rao Smaraki Puraskar of Rs 20,000 and the Subrata Rath Smaraki Puraskar of Rs 15,000 for 2007 to poet Harihar Mishra and storywriter Debashis Panigrahi respectively.